“House of Gucci” Opens To Mixed Critical Reception
Reviews are in - but not everyone's a fan.
Lust. Betrayal. Murder. And a shitload of fabulous outfits. The true story of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani’s doomed romance with fashion empire heir Maurizio Gucci was seemingly made for a Hollywood dramatization. But the jury’s out on whether Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci is as fabulous as its namesake or more like a cheap, nasty designer knockoff.
Though released only days ago and to much anticipation, (the film, alongside the recent James Bond blockbuster, is one of the first major Hollywood releases post-pandemic) House of Gucci has been plagued with criticism and controversy since production began. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri reportedly cooperated with filmmakers and even allowed access to the label’s archives for props and outfitting, however the Gucci clan themselves were not so supportive, labelling the adaption “horrible,” “ugly,” and akin to “stealing the identity of a family to make a profit.”
And the family are not alone. The label’s former creative director Tom Ford (a fictionalized version of whom appears on-screen) was so uncomfortable after a viewing that he published an essay in Air Mail magazine decrying what he considered to be insensitive use of humour and camp in the depiction of “bloody” and “tragic” events.
Clearly the film’s content cuts a little too close to the bone for its unwilling real-life muses. But is House of Gucci worth the outrage?
Fun and showy, but ultimately shallow and tonally confusing appears to be the consensus, with the film’s middling “62% fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating representative of its decidedly mixed critical reception.
For some, House of Gucci is an outrageous and entertaining glimpse into fashion’s seedy underbelly (“an extra-large glass of juice served with lots of pulp” writes Rolling Stone), but the style-studded drama’s excesses leave others cold with Roger Ebert.com concluding that the film “…would have benefited from a coherent silhouette and a little hemming of its tiresome runtime.”
But despite these complaints, critics and audiences alike are in agreeance on one thing: the sheer star power of Lady Gaga. A fashion icon in her own right, Gaga stars as the conniving Regianni and by all reports proves that her Oscar-nominated A Star is Born performance was no fluke.
Despite- or perhaps because of- its controversial reception, House of Gucci has all the ingredients of a box office hit amongst fans of fashion, Gaga, and twisted true crime. After all, in the words of Tom Ford, “Splash the Gucci name across things and they usually sell.”