House of Gucci

House of Gucci

2021, R, 157 min. Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Camille Cottin, Reeve Carney.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Nov. 26, 2021

The one question to ask about House of Gucci is – what kind of film was Ridley Scott trying to make? Sometimes, it feels like he's aiming for the quiet seething power dynamics of The Godfather. Other times, it's the chaotic backbiting of Casino. Instead, he's fabricated a shapeless mess of drab designs and duller colors, then draped it over an ensemble that seems lost within its baggy contours. You can tell they're moving around under there somewhere, but it's unclear what they're trying to do.

It's arguably a successor to one of his greater late-career successes, 2017's All the Money in the World. After all, both are mired in the moral murk of the insanely wealthy: then, the Gettys, now, the Guccis.

It's a matter of historical record. In 1995, Maurizio Gucci – scion of the Gucci clan and the man that had dragged their fashion label out of elite obscurity and back into being actually fashionable – was gunned down by hitmen in Milan. The client who paid for his murder? His ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani (who would hate being called that: She was a Gucci, even if only by marriage). In House of Gucci, Scott and screenwriters Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna (adapting by Sara Gay Forden's 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed) focus on the couple's fairy-tale romance-turned-deadly liaison, and how they both revolutionized Gucci and tore it apart.

As is the way of such films, the facts are often played with, fast and loose, to increase the drama. But the selling point is really the cast, with Adam Driver as Maurizio and Lady Gaga as Patrizia. Or something like them. Like the bootleg Guccis that flood New York while the company crumbles like their ancestral estates, they're something like the originals, but good luck making a matching ensemble. Driver plays the party boy businessman as an awkward academic, making his transition to hardnosed wheeler-dealer erratic and implausible. Meanwhile Gaga goes as high-end hammy as prosciutto di Pietraroja, sometimes a little Gina Lollobrigida, sometimes a little Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinnie. Her Patrizia is sufficiently conniving, cunning, and aspirational, but that's all there is to her.

It's not just in how the film tries to tie this unlikely duo together that the seams start shredding. Al Pacino is low-key as uncle Aldo, with whom Patrizia pushes Maurizio into war, while Jeremy Irons is as fragile as old lace as Rodolfo, Maurizio's faded film star father. No one is bad, but nothing goes together, like mixing stripes and polka dots.

Maybe it's all summed up by Jared Leto as a woefully historically inaccurate version of cousin Paolo Gucci. Why Scott cast him as the podgy, balding buffoon rather than as the equally razor-cheekboned designer Tom Ford is anyone's guess, especially when Leto clearly spent hours every day in the makeup chair to emerge, unrecognizable, as an absurd caricature. For some unknowable reason, Scott must have been OK with this.

At least Leto was clearly having fun, relishing the inherent goofiness of the part as written: But nobody else (save occasionally Pacino at his most deadpan) is in that movie. Maybe it could all have been saved if there was any visual panache on display. Maybe if Scott had leaned into the aesthetic of the era (communicated instead solely by heavy-handed needle drops). Maybe if he'd shot it like a high-budget Eighties soap, or a Technicolor drama, or made oblique references to the ultimate tale of coolly aristocratic Italian malfeasance, Luchino Visconti's Il Gattopardo. Instead, there's a muted flatness that echoes the unengaging and episodic nature of the script, which suddenly terminates, like someone added a cuff to an altered pair of pants without any eye to the tailoring.

House of Gucci isn't aggressively bad, but it is undeniably tedious, threadbare, and unengaging. Scott proved this year with The Last Duel (another period piece about the violent acts of the European upper crust) that he's still a great director. But here he is just the wrong filmmaker for the material.

Showtimes

Sun., Dec. 5

11:35am, 3:35, 6:20, 7:25

Mon., Dec. 6

3:35, 6:10, 7:25

Tue., Dec. 7

3:55, 7:45

Wed., Dec. 8

3:55, 7:45

Sun., Dec. 5

11:20am, 3:20, 7:10

Mon., Dec. 6

2:25, 6:20, 7:30

Tue., Dec. 7

2:25, 7:30

Wed., Dec. 8

2:25, 7:30

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sun., Dec. 5

11:25am, 2:15, 4:00, 6:50, 7:35

Mon., Dec. 6

2:30, 4:00, 6:40, 7:30

Tue., Dec. 7

2:30, 4:00, 6:40, 7:30

Sun., Dec. 5

10:55am, 11:45am, 2:40, 3:35, 6:30, 7:25

Mon., Dec. 6

7:00, 9:00, 10:50

Tue., Dec. 7

6:40, 7:35, 10:30, 11:25

Wed., Dec. 8

7:00, 10:50

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sun., Dec. 5

11:50am, 3:40, 7:00

Mon., Dec. 6

2:40, 6:30

Tue., Dec. 7

2:40, 6:30

Wed., Dec. 8

2:10, 3:10, 6:30

AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10

12625 N. I-35, 512/640-1533, www.amctheatres.com

Sun., Dec. 5

CC/DVS 1:40, 2:50, 6:40

Mon., Dec. 6

CC/DVS 6:40

Tue., Dec. 7

CC/DVS 6:40

Wed., Dec. 8

CC/DVS 6:40

Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills

9828 Great Hills Trail, 512/231-9742

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:30, 3:10, 6:10
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:10, 6:10

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:30, 3:10, 6:10
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:10, 6:10

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:30, 3:10, 6:10
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:10, 6:10

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:30, 3:10, 6:10
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:10, 6:10

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:30, 3:10, 6:10
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:10, 6:10

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 Capital of Texas Hwy. S., 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, 10:20
CC 12:45, 6:45, 7:45, 8:45, 10:20
CC/DVS 6:45, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 6:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:45, 7:20, 8:20

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 6:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:45, 7:20, 8:20

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 6:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:45, 8:20

Thu., Dec. 9

CC/DVS 11:20am, 2:50

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:25am, 3:00, 6:45, 10:25

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 3:00, 6:45, 10:25

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 3:00, 6:45, 10:25

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 3:00, 6:45, 10:25

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 10:50am, 2:30, 6:10, 9:50

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 2:30, 6:10

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 2:30, 6:10

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 2:30, 6:10

Thu., Dec. 9

digital 2:30, 6:10

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 12:40, 4:20, 8:00

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 4:20, 7:55

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 3:45, 7:40

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 4:20, 7:55

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:25am, 3:10, 6:55

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 3:10, 6:55

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 3:10, 6:55

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 3:10, 6:55

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 10:05am, 1:45, 5:25, 9:10

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 1:25, 5:15, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 1:25, 5:15, 9:00

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 1:25, 5:15, 9:00

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sun., Dec. 5

digital 11:20am, 3:10, 6:50

Mon., Dec. 6

digital 4:00, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 7

digital 4:00, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

digital 4:00, 7:00

Sun., Dec. 5

1:40, 4:30, 6:40

Mon., Dec. 6

4:30, 6:40

Tue., Dec. 7

4:30, 6:40

Wed., Dec. 8

4:30, 6:40

Thu., Dec. 9

4:30, 6:40

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sun., Dec. 5

12:00, 3:35, 6:55

Mon., Dec. 6

12:00, 3:35, 6:55

Tue., Dec. 7

12:00, 3:35, 6:55

Wed., Dec. 8

12:00, 3:35, 6:55

Evo Cinemas Belterra

166 Hargraves Ste. A-100, 512/457-0700, www.evocinemas.com/belterra

Sun., Dec. 5

3:00, 6:30

Mon., Dec. 6

11:45am, 3:15, 6:45

Tue., Dec. 7

11:45am, 3:15, 6:45

Wed., Dec. 8

11:45am, 3:15, 6:45

Thu., Dec. 9

11:45am, 3:15, 6:45

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sun., Dec. 5

3:30, 7:00, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 6

4:00, 7:30

Tue., Dec. 7

4:00, 7:30

Wed., Dec. 8

4:00, 7:30

Thu., Dec. 9

3:30, 7:00, 10:30

Film Alley Bastrop

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, bastrop.filmalley.net/

Sun., Dec. 5

11:25am, 3:15, 7:00

Mon., Dec. 6

11:25am, 3:15, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 7

11:25am, 3:15, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 8

11:25am, 3:15, 7:00

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sun., Dec. 5

11:45am, 3:45, 7:45, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 6

3:45, 7:45, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 7

11:45am, 3:45, 7:45, 9:45

Wed., Dec. 8

11:45am, 3:45, 7:45, 9:45

Thu., Dec. 9

11:45am, 3:45

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:00, 3:35, 7:05, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 3:00, 6:20, 9:55

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 3:00, 6:20, 9:55

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 3:00

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 3:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 1:30, 4:00, 5:20, 8:00, 9:10, 9:50

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:20, 1:30, 4:00, 5:20, 7:50

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:20, 1:30, 4:00, 6:20, 7:50

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:20, 1:30, 4:00, 7:15, 8:00

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:20, 1:30, 3:45, 8:00

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Sun., Dec. 5

3:00, 6:30, 9:05

Wed., Dec. 8

6:15, 10:00

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC/DVS 1:15, 2:50, 6:30

Mon., Dec. 6

CC/DVS 6:30

Tue., Dec. 7

CC/DVS 6:30

Wed., Dec. 8

CC/DVS 6:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 11:50am, 1:00, 3:15, 4:40, 6:30, 8:30, 9:45
CC/DVS 11:50am, 1:00, 3:15, 4:40, 6:30, 8:30, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 11:50am, 12:40, 3:15, 4:20, 6:30, 8:10
CC/DVS 11:50am, 12:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:30, 7:50

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 11:50am, 12:40, 3:15, 4:20, 6:30, 8:10
CC/DVS 11:50am, 12:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:30, 7:50

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 11:50am, 12:40, 3:15, 4:20, 6:30, 8:10
CC/DVS 11:50am, 12:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:30, 7:50

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 11:50am, 12:40, 3:15, 4:20, 8:10
CC/DVS 11:50am, 12:30, 3:15, 4:10, 7:50

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 FM 620 N., Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sun., Dec. 5

11:00am, 12:00, 3:00, 4:00, 7:00, 8:00

Mon., Dec. 6

12:00, 3:00, 4:00, 7:00, 8:00

Tue., Dec. 7

12:00, 3:00, 4:00, 8:00

Wed., Dec. 8

12:00, 2:30, 4:00, 8:00

Thu., Dec. 9

12:00, 1:30, 4:00, 7:30, 8:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Pkwy., Bldg. 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sun., Dec. 5

10:30am, 12:45, 2:30, 7:30, 8:00

Mon., Dec. 6

12:45, 2:30, 7:30, 8:00

Tue., Dec. 7

12:45, 2:30, 7:30, 8:00

Wed., Dec. 8

12:45, 2:30, 7:30, 8:00

Thu., Dec. 9

12:45, 2:30, 7:30, 8:00

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$6.50 children and senior tickets (all-day), $5 Tuesdays (all tickets), Bargain Matinees before 5pm daily.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 11:40am, 3:05, 6:30, 9:55

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 11:40am, 3:05, 6:30, 9:55

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 11:40am, 3:05, 6:30, 9:55

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 11:40am, 3:05, 6:30, 9:55

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 11:40am, 3:05, 6:30, 9:55

Sun., Dec. 5

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 6

2:00, 6:15, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 7

2:00, 6:15, 9:45

Wed., Dec. 8

2:00, 6:15, 9:45

Thu., Dec. 9

2:00, 6:15, 9:45

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 512/495-9600, www.violetcrowncinema.com

Four-hour parking validation in attached garage with ticket purchase. Reserved seating; bar and cafe on-site.

Sun., Dec. 5

12:10, 2:10, 4:00, 6:00, 7:50, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 6

1:00, 3:00, 6:10, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 7

1:20, 7:50, 9:00

Wed., Dec. 8

1:15, 7:50, 9:00

Thu., Dec. 9

1:15, 7:50, 9:20

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 5

CC 12:00, 12:45, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:30, 9:00, 9:30
CC/DVS 12:00, 12:45, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:30, 9:00, 9:30

Mon., Dec. 6

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45

Tue., Dec. 7

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45

Wed., Dec. 8

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:00, 6:45

Thu., Dec. 9

CC 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:30
CC/DVS 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 3:30, 6:30

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Ridley Scott Films
The Last Duel
Ridley Scott reinvents the historical drama through the lens of stardom

Matthew Monagle, Oct. 15, 2021

All the Money in the World
Christopher Plummer mesmerizes as the greediest man alive

Marc Savlov, Dec. 22, 2017

More by Richard Whittaker
Refineries and Suitcase Pimps: Riding the <i>Red Rocket</i> With Sean Baker
Refineries and Suitcase Pimps: Riding the Red Rocket With Sean Baker
The filmmaker talks about poverty porn and real porn

Dec. 5, 2021

Warped and Bloodied: Two New Books by Drafthouse Veterans
Warped and Bloodied: Two New Books by Drafthouse Veterans
Giving the forgotten children of horror and exploitation the analysis they deserve

Dec. 3, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

House of Gucci, Ridley Scott, Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Camille Cottin, Reeve Carney

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle