Lady Gaga‘s House of Gucci is finally in theaters and the Ridley Scott-directed film that co-stars Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Adam Driver and Jeremy Irons has already sparked talk of a possible Oscar bid for the singer. The expansive film — which clocks in at nearly two hours and 40 minutes — is a family crime drama that follows Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, wife of Driver’s Maurizio Gucci as the luxury brand outsider whose thirst for fashion fame turns murderous.
The reviews are in and the film that scored a so-so 66% on Rotten Tomatoes is being hailed as a kind of instant modern camp classic, even as the screenplay and dialogue were generally being panned as so much fast fashion cast-offs.
Check out what critics are saying about House of Gucci below:
New York Times: “The kindest thing I can say about House of Gucci — and also the cruelest — is that it should have been an Italian movie. Set mostly in Milan, it spins out a sprawling, chaotic, borderline-operatic tale of family feuding, sexual jealousy and capitalist intrigue, with plenty of drinks, cigarettes and snacks (the carpaccio comes highly recommended). Also cars, shoes, hats, sport coats, handbags, dresses, lingerie — whatever you want! But for all that abundance, something is missing. A lot of things, really, but mostly a strong idea and a credible reason for existing … the script… has a repetitive, wheel-spinning quality… Adam Driver is relatively restrained as Maurizio… and [Patrizia] is played by Lady Gaga with the verve of an Anna Magnani avatar in a Super Mario video game.”
Vulture: “Spread over an exorbitant two hours and 37 minutes, Ridley Scott’s second film in two months has more acting by volume than any other theatrical release this year. Its most prolific source is Jared Leto, who’s been encased in latex to play Paolo Gucci, the corduroy-loving lesser scion who tries to launch his own Gucci fashion line. It’s the rare performer who manages to out-big Al Pacino, but in scene after scene, Leto makes the acting legend, cast as Paolo’s father, Aldo, look downright restrained in his choices and his interpretation of an Italian accent… Gucci is a label built on a carefully concocted air of tasteful luxury, but House of Gucci is a movie that mostly understands itself to be high-end trash… There’s a touch of Nomi Malone to Gaga’s performance, which is fueled by a barely disguised ravenousness, a desire to eat the world in one determined bite. Patrizia is voluptuously vulgar, with her wiggle dresses and ever-more-voluminous hair… Gaga is wildly watchable in the role, broad but unwinking, an absolute scream, and the movie only really makes sense when it’s about her.”
Slate: “I wish that, like the friend I saw it with, I had experienced House of Gucci purely as a Rocky Horror Picture Show-style campfest. She and the woman next to her seemed to be having so much fun. But to speak my boring truth, though I did my share of chortling in the screening room, especially at Jared Leto’s prosthetics-laden turn as needy wannabe designer Paolo Gucci (think Chef Boy-Ar-Dee in a bald wig and latex jowls), House of Gucci’s two-hour-and-forty-minute running time, for me, did not fly by on swift wings. This overstuffed and ungainly film might have made more sense in a six- or eight-hour miniseries format… I cannot say that I personally plan to memorize the riper lines of dialogue and attend midnight screenings with props to throw at the screen—props that, touching on some of the movie’s key moments, might include live pigeons, checks with forged signatures, tiny white espresso cups, and men’s loafers lined with gold leaf… As Patrizia Gucci, a vision in a white fur ski hat, coolly informs her romantic rival, “I don’t-a consider myself-a to be a particularly ethical-a person, but-a I am-a fair.”
Austin-Chronicle: “The one question to ask about House of Gucci is – what kind of film was Ridley Scott trying to make? Sometimes, it feels like he’s aiming for the quiet seething power dynamics of The Godfather. Other times, it’s the chaotic backbiting of Casino. Instead, he’s fabricated a shapeless mess of drab designs and duller colors, then draped it over an ensemble that seems lost within its baggy contours. You can tell they’re moving around under there somewhere, but it’s unclear what they’re trying to do… Gaga goes as high-end hammy as prosciutto di Pietraroja, sometimes a little Gina Lollobrigida, sometimes a little Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinnie. Her Patrizia is sufficiently conniving, cunning, and aspirational, but that’s all there is to her.”
Irish Times: “Sara Gay Harden’s The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed [is] the source material for this bizarrely plodding, pointless new film from Ridley Scott. The Gucci family are said to be taking legal advice. Legal advice? The accents alone would justify a major diplomatic incident. Never mind the alleged inaccuracies in Haden’s book: if it isn’t a crime to waste Adam Driver in the manner that he is squandered here, then it ought to be. Ditto Jeremy Irons. Ditto the entire ensemble. Driver, in particular, puts up a good fight against poor material for almost an hour, but nobody can save this apparently rudderless ship. This is a grisly carnival of poorly executed and just bad ideas. It’s difficult to count the ways in which House of Gucci is undeserving of your time. The cosplay versions of Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley and other fashion folks! The prescriptive, entirely anachronistic musical cues!”
ABC News: “Maybe you’ve heard that House of Gucci is an overlong jumble of overwrought acting and over-the-top Italian accents. Relax. Buy a ticket to this ravishing soap opera about high fashion and higher crimes and you’re in for the year’s most seductive guilty pleasure. Except why feel guilty about having a blast? Bloody murder hasn’t been this delicious since Knives Out… Is it outrageous camp or The Godfather in designer duds? I’m calling a tossup. It’s only thumbs up for Lady Gaga, who puts real sizzle in the Oscar race—like she did in A Star is Born — by giving a flat-out fabulous performance as Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider who works her way into the design dynasty by marrying one of its princes, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). The poor sucker, who buries his head in law books, doesn’t know what hit him.”
Variety: “There are moments in House of Gucci that will make your jaw drop (which, of course, is one of the best things that can happen at the movies), and moments you’ll laugh at the sheer audacity of what you’re seeing, but just because the characters in a drama behave in an over-the-top shameless manner doesn’t mean that the film that’s observing them is over-the-top. House of Gucci is an icepick docudrama that has a great deal of fun with its grand roster of ambitious scoundrels, but it’s never less than a straight-faced and nimbly accomplished movie.”
IndieWire: “Some movie-goers may be disappointed to find that Scott’s film isn’t quite the unapologetic romp that its trailers promised; that it’s less fun than it is fascinating, despite the arena-sized bigness of Lady Gaga’s lead performance and Jared Leto’s very welcome decision to play Maurizio’s failson cousin like a commedia dell’arte cross between Fredo Corleone and Waluigi (no last name given). But this is hardly a case of a movie that can’t decide on its tone. On the contrary, House of Gucci is best enjoyed as a movie about the blood-feud over its tone.”