House of Gucci 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
After watching “House of Gucci”, I know ambition and the thirst for gold can be so fiercely boundless they would drive anyone to the most extreme corners. I could believe it thanks to the performance of… Jared Leto!
How he transformed himself into Jeffrey Tambor’s clone is already an achievement in transformation, but Leto wanted more, he wanted the golden statuette and when you’re in the supporting department surrounded by Jeremy “Scar” Irons and Al “Scarface” Pacino as patriarch brothers Rodolfo and Aldo Gucci, it’s a whole new level of over-the-top that you’ve got to reinvent.
Leto’s embodiment of Aldo’s worthless son Paolo is the kind of self-deprecating prowess to be seen to be believed. Trust me: he might have been a mediocre designer but every single scene with him was designed as an Oscar clip. Every second of each moment with Leto contains a mimic, a look, a grimace, a dancing, a crazy laugh, anything begging us to notice him… and only him. Leto is the film’s scene-stealer.
In fact, he doesn’t steal the show but the whole movie, all the pathos invested in that performance, making Fredo Corleone look like Al Capone, is one of the most joyously campy performances I’ve seen since “Mommie Dearest” and I I hated him… not because he was bad, but because he was so desperately good at stealing the show he might have stolen Al Pacino’s chances to get his tenth Oscar nomination.
Yes, I’m a Pacino fan and he was the reason I couldn’t wait for the film, but ever since the second trailer’s release, he didn’t seem to get any attention although I believe he deserves a few praises. Anyway, I have nothing against Leto getting an Oscar nomination as long as Pacino pulls a Joe Pesci in “The Irishman”. And both bring so much life in what could have been a rather grim story that the way I see it, either you award both or no one.. well, except for the Razzies.
Sorry to fill the review with awards talk but let’s not kid ourselves, this is a star-studded biopic released at the end of the year… ever since the project was announced, everyone was waiting for Thanksgiving and not for Black Friday but the Black widow plated by Lady Gaga. Fans are already lobbying for her Oscar win this time (the nomination is obvious). And you know what, they’re right! Adam Driver effaces himself magically as a passive, undecided, husband too nice to be a lawyer let alone venturing in the jungle-like fashion world… with a lionness for a wife.
And so the real Driver is Patrizia Reggiani, a fiercely ambitious woman who once landed her eyes on Maurizio knew she would marry him. In fact, once she knew his surname. Gaga’s performance is a masterstroke of subtltety, notice how her look shifts when Maurizio says “Gucci”, perhaps 75% of his charm, her courting is certainly the best example of a woman playing easy-to-get and yet there’s something genuinely sincere in her act that contradicts the way the trailer exposed her as a villain. She’s venal all right, but that doesn’t prevent her from truly loving her husband and wishing to elevate him. Alas, she realizes very quickly that the curse of the Gucci family is just as if the Corleone had only Fredos in charge. Maurizio, is more Hagen-like, he who’s definitely not cut for business wartime.
But Patrizia, what a woman! And Gaga is so natural in that role that I noticed she didn’t just have the talents, but the looks as well. After that and “A Star is Born”, I wish she could drop the whole Gaga extravaganza and be herself, it’s not just in the film, she has something of Liz Taylor. In other words, she’s a natural. And she’s so good that she makes the film’s flaws more apparent. Forget about Leto’s clownish manners, forget about Pacino, Pacino’s good, problem’s pacing.
That’s where the film doesn’t play in the league of Ridley Scott’s classics, he seems to have shot the film quickly to match the holiday schedules. Fair enough but the editing suffered a little, some scenes cut abruptly, the transition of Aldo Gucci from an ally to a liability feels odd. But the real problem is the way Patrizia turns into a supporting character during the third act. Some critics pointed that the film is too long, I would nuance that statement, it takes so much time building the relationship that the film can’t afford her disappearance for too long. Yes, it’s that pint-sized lady that carries the film more than all the other male-cast combined (even Salma Hayek is totally overshadowed by her aura)
There are some good performances in the last act with honorable mentions to Jack Huston, Youssef Kerkour and to a lesser degree, Camille Cottin who’s given an even more thankless role than Driver… but there’s too much elements slowing down the film instead of building up its way to the deadly climax. For all the efforts pulled by Gaga, the ending seems anticlimactic and needlessly depressing while it needed a little cynical edge to it. What it does get with the final line and obligatory ‘where are there now?’.
Anyway, if people compared the film to “The Godfather” I think it’s closer in spirit to “Goodfellas” and all these period films that use timely pop songs to bring the musical texture of the era. I won’t speak of the accents but sometimes Scott insist a little too much on the “Italian” factor and that comes from an opera fan. Anyway, to stay in that spirit, let me say: “Veni. Vidi. Gucci”. I came, I saw, I didn’t yawn, I might have cringed here and there but overall, I enjoyed it.
It could have been better but let me tell you this film will still be remembered in a few decades, I’d bet my annual salary… which wouldn’t buy one pair of Gucci’s second-hand socks.