UPDATED: The full reviews to Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” have dropped, and like the social reactions that appeared two weeks ago, they’re all over the map — in fact, critics can’t seem to decide if Ridley Scott’s film, opening Wednesday, is high camp or not camp at all.
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman called it “a kind of fashionista Godfather Lite, a sophisticated true-life tale about the way that power actually works…when it’s done this well, soap opera becomes intoxicating human drama.”
Lindsay Bahr of Associated Press wrote, “’House of Gucci’ presents a fascinating and insane story that just keeps getting more unbelievable. It was a big, glamorous mess and deserves a big, glamorously messy movie, right down to the performances and all-over-the-place accents. …. Everyone is going for broke here.”
Indiewire’s David Ehrlich said, “Locked in a heated conversation with its own campiness from the moment it starts, ‘House of Gucci’ leverages that underlying conflict into an operatic portrait of the tension between wealth and value.”
The AV Club’s Katie Rife said, “On the one hand, ‘Gucci’ comes so close to flowering into something bonkers that its more moderate tendencies feel like a tease. On the other hand, keeping the movie itself in check gives Gaga’s star an opportunity to burn even brighter: She might not deliver the most subtle performance, but she’s certainly magnetic.”
The film stars Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Driver) who was tried and convicted of orchestrating her ex-husband’s murder. It follows the events and aftermath of Gucci’s 1995 assassination, spanning three decades in the life of the high fashion family. “House of Gucci” also stars Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino.
Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes critic Erik Davis raved about the film, even comparing it to “The Godfather.”
“#HouseOfGucci has a definite GODFATHER vibe, rich w/ family betrayal, transformative performances, lots of backstabbing & it’s definitely more serious than it is campy,” Davis wrote. “Lady Gaga is incredible, as is Jared Leto, and the story is WILD! The attention to detail is impeccable.”
GUCCI! #HouseOfGucci has a definite GODFATHER vibe, rich w/ family betrayal, transformative performances, lots of backstabbing & it's definitely more serious than it is campy. Lady Gaga is incredible, as is Jared Leto, and the story is WILD! The attention to detail is impeccable pic.twitter.com/BphR07VLP5
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) November 9, 2021
However, We Live Entertainment founder Scott Menzel was far less enthusiastic. “House of Gucci is a bloated & uneven mess that feels like two different movies rolled in one,” Menzel wrote. “Every single cast member acts as though they are in a different movie except for Al Pacino, who seems to have understood the assignment and serves as the film’s MVP.”
House of Gucci is a bloated & uneven mess that feels like two different movies rolled in one. Every single cast member acts as though they are in a different movie except for Al Pacino, who seems to have understood the assignment and serves as the film’s MVP. #HouseofGucci pic.twitter.com/Y5NvVkNvqI
— Scott Menzel (@ScottDMenzel) November 9, 2021
Entertainment Weekly writer Joey Nolfi called the film “juicy caviar camp, an absurdly enjoyable Italian soap opera where Bald Jared Leto pisses on a Gucci scarf.”
Though Nolfi says “House of Gucci” “ultimately eases on its gas to a fault,” the writer praised Gaga’s performance, calling it “earnest and ferocious,” completing “her evolution from movie star to mighty dramatic actress.”
House of Gucci = juicy caviar camp, an absurdly enjoyable Italian soap opera where Bald Jared Leto pisses on a Gucci scarf. It ultimately eases on its gas to a fault, but Lady Gaga's earnest, ferocious performance completes her evolution from movie star to mighty dramatic actréss
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) November 9, 2021
Observer senior entertainment reporter Brandon Katz said the movie “is an overwrought slog without any discernible direction.”
“Too many narrative focuses stacked on top of one another,” Katz continued. “Glitzy talented names hamming it up in wealth porn can be fun, but not enough to save the movie from its own messiness.”
#HouseofGucci is an overwrought slog without any discernible direction. Too many narrative focuses stacked on top of one another. Glitzy talented names hamming it up in wealth porn can be fun, but not enough to save the movie from its own messiness
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) November 9, 2021
Read more reactions below.
Lacking in energy, style & camp, HOUSE OF GUCCI plods through deadly serious drama for 2.5 hours with an uneven tone. Lady Gaga, Adam Driver & Al Pacino deliver but a cartoonish Jared Leto feels like he’s in a different film. A disappointingly mediocre effort from Ridley Scott. pic.twitter.com/UIQod5wbYm
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) November 9, 2021
.@HouseOfGucciMov is absolutely divine. It is murderously delicious. The cast delivers the best performances of the year. Luxuriate with Adam Driver and Lady Gaga whose chemistry and performances are phenomenal. The film is a masterclass in acting. pic.twitter.com/PGmiZ1q05J
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 9, 2021
#HouseOfGucci is quite the animal. Campy, everything Ridley Scott wanted "The Counselor" to be but wasn't able to. Will be divided by many. Lady Gaga eats every morsel of her role up. Instantly the most quotable/meme-able movie since "Borat." Jared Leto best since his Oscar win. pic.twitter.com/xh8nFrDXmC
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) November 9, 2021
#HouseOfGucci is Shakespearean in its execution. A solid story of greed and a hunger for success at any cost is dotted with tragi-comedic interludes – both entertaining in different ways. With solid performances, if campy and overegged at times, it works but could do with a trim. pic.twitter.com/q7EAfqQpm0
— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) November 9, 2021
— Marc Malkin (@marcmalkin) November 9, 2021
#HouseOfGucci Big & soapy, this really hit the spot for me. Everything Leto & Pacino do is lol ridiculous, yet nicely balanced with Driver & Gaga’s mannered 50s melodrama turns. Ridley Scott has everyone acting in the same movie, while going big with glorious gusto.
— Chris O'Falt (@cofalt) November 9, 2021
“House of Gucci” premieres on Nov. 24.