If anything, sin never goes out of style. Half beach read and half human opera, Ridley Scott’s glossy HOUSE OF GUCCI is divine drama at the movies.
Everything is outsized, from its ageless themes on love, lust, greed, betrayal, and the endless machinations for power to the performances from its glittering cast all across the board. Scott’s picture perfect vision does scale the mountain of camp, but moments of emotional depth keep it from going over the edge at the right moments. Yes, the accents are thick as Ragu sauce, but the film is not a documentary. Rather, it harkens back to an era where such Hollywood treatments of real life felt cinematic and compelling thanks to its star power.
It is a shame that HOUSE OF GUCCI is such an easy trolling target given its pedigree, which you should try to ignore. A wily Adam Driver, an unrecognizable Jared Leto, and the incomparable Al Pacino are in great form. Yet it is Lady Gaga who stands supreme as the key reason the film is so damn watchable in a virtuosic performance that is breathtaking. Although, I can’t help thinking how a director like Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) would have treated this material, too.
More, it is a nice relief to be part of a film viewing experience that was about actual people for a change, not a comic book come to life. What a wonderful thing to see spark actual conversations about a film again. And you will have an opinion. A must see for 2021.