Vanina’s review published on Letterboxd:
Almost had me wishing Ryan Murphy was behind this instead of Ridley Scott, something I thought I'd never say. Enjoyed this immensely for the most part, and will never forget a cinema full of people gasping in outrage at the thought of a Bloomingdale's gift card as a Christmas present, but it could have done with another serious round of editing and should have gone full-ham-camp.
For me, this just didn't sufficiently follow through on the camp it promises. This could have been gloriously ridiculous, a Dynasty with slightly offensive put-upon accents, and for a long while it is, but then past the halfway mark it starts to take itself far too seriously and you become all too aware you're watching Gaga and Leto's frenzied attempts at an awards reel.
Gaga is great - starts out in a deliciously self-aware, fleshed-out femme fatale role that channels all the greats - dabs of Crawford, Davis, Dietrich - but as the story suddenly shifts focus away from Patrizia to deal with company ownership, the film appears to want to model itself into a Godfather with fine leather goods, and it becomes too straight of a drama, where Gaga and Leto's unhinged performances suddenly feel off.
I wanted Sirk melodrama, Spelling ridiculousness, Joan Crawford bitchiness, but I felt the film couldn't decide what film it wanted to hitch its wagon to - a Sirkian melodrama or Coppolean crime saga - and instead just kind of deflates in indecision. The tension between Gaga and Adam Driver's performances is a treat, but as soon as the focus shifts, the film feels lost.
The film mostly omits the timestamps so overused in biopics, which is mostly great but I also found myself sidetracked several times by songs, sayings and Walkmans that seemed anachronistic.
Walking out of this film, my main question was why someone so rich have the exact same candleholders around the bath for 10 years?