House of Gucci

House of Gucci ★★★½

Exact Rating: 7.3/10

House of Gucci is, while not the slickest or most well-paced film, an entertaining dramatic retelling of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. With excellent performances all around, hilarious scenes, a slow-burn structure, and cutting visuals, this is a must-see and another solid addition for Ridley Scott's plethora of films.

The story itself is excellent. While the pacing is sluggish at points and the film has some unnecessary components, the story is quite different from what it could have been. The movie could have been a soapy melodrama with little substance under other hands. It has all the needed elements for that: heartbreaking context, twisty developments, and an overarching theme of money vs. love. Thankfully, director-writer Ridley Scott knew how to avoid that, writing a more suspenseful and impactful piece.

The cast is phenomenal. Every single actor makes excellent performances. From nuanced body expressions to noticeable emotional sweeps, they each do a superb job making their characters feel unique and authentic. Lady Gaga (Patrizia Reggiani) and Jared Leto (Paolo Gucci) are the biggest show stealers. Gaga's performance required lots of different emotions, as her character endured the most hardship out of anyone. She not only solidified those emotions but exceeded expectations in more ways than one. Leto perfectly captured the idiocy of his character, making every scene that includes him a laughing stock.

The writing has as many strengths as it does weaknesses. Overall, it is decent. There are a lot of unusual dialogue sequences that work well, and then there are others that work... not as well. A lot of the writing feels like filler to get to a longer runtime. It makes much of the movie feel unnecessary, draining the pacing. Ridley Scott tends to make films with heavy exposition like this, but it does not always work out. This film is one of the many cases where it doesn't work that well.

The visuals are stellar. The film is truly a visual pleasure with crisp cinematography, state-of-the-art resolution, and thematic color schemes. The set designs are also creative, as they truly capture the essence of corrupt luxurious living.

The main issue with this film is that it is slightly incoherent. Because of the slow pacing, it becomes hard to stay hooked on the screen for significant portions of the film. Therefore, the plot loses itself in the film's exposition, as too much of the filler waters down the substance. The issue also waters down the characterization of the main cast a bit, as their emotions can come off as confusing because of the messy plot. The filmmakers should have deleted roughly a half-hour of unnecessary filler, as it would have made the film much more straightforward and more enticing overall.

Although it has flaws, House of Gucci is at least a well above average melodrama, with solid performances and uniquely intense moments scattered throughout. I recommend this to anyone who is a Ridley Scott fan, a Lady Gaga fan, or a fan of dramatized non fiction. You probably won't be disappointed so long as you don't expect greatness.