Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci has received mixed reviews, but the performances by actors like Lady Gaga and Jared Leto have been widely praised.
Split image of Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, and Jared Leto in House of Gucci
Ridley Scott’s new crime drama House of Gucci has received mixed reviews due to its bloated two-and-a-half-hour runtime and inconsistent tone veering between somber satire and soap opera sappiness. The titular Italian dynasty isn’t too pleased with the movie’s portrayal of them, either.
But the performances by cast members like Lady Gaga and Jared Leto have been universally praised. Such acting legends as Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino play unforgettable supporting roles in the movie, while Adam Driver stars as the wayward heir who loses all his morals.
7 Salma Hayek As Giuseppina Auriemma
Salma Hayek isn’t given a particularly substantial role in House of Gucci. Giuseppina Auriemma is a psychic that Patrizia stumbles upon while she’s watching TV one night. She calls in to the show and hires her for a couple of fortune tellings before becoming full-blown friends with her. They end up getting a mud bath together. Pina is the one who hooks Patrizia up with the hitmen she hires to kill her husband.
Hayek does the best she can with this role, but much like in the recent Marvel blockbuster Eternals, her performance is held back by limited material.
6 Jack Huston As Domenico De Sole
Being related to Hollywood legends like Walter Huston, Anjelica Huston, and John Huston, Jack Huston is a part of his own Gucci-style dynasty. But he doesn’t actually play one of the Guccis in House of Gucci. He plays their dedicated assistant, Domenico De Sole, who ends up usurping his employers and taking over the company when the numbers go downhill and he spies an opportunity.
Huston brings a sinister coldness to scenes like handing Patrizia divorce papers at her daughter’s school or stealing management of the company out from under Maurizio. He brings a reserved counterpoint to the explosive emotions that Gaga and Driver bring to the table.
5 Jeremy Irons As Rodolfo Gucci
Jeremy Irons’ character Rodolfo Gucci is the stuffy patriarch of the Gucci family who looks down on Patrizia because her father’s business isn’t a billion-dollar juggernaut. Rodolfo becomes a more sympathetic character when he’s diagnosed with a terminal illness and spends his last days making amends with his estranged son.
Whether he’s giving his son the cold shoulder for taking on honest work or bluntly telling his nephew that he has no talent, Irons embodies all the worst qualities of the snobbish elite. There’s a satirical bite in his portrayal of one-percent snobbery, but plenty of dramatic nuance in his spiteful parenting and post-diagnosis redemption.
4 Adam Driver As Maurizio Gucci
Adam Driver’s performance in House of Gucci is his second collaboration with Ridley Scott in the space of two months. The two also worked together on The Last Duel, a historical epic in which Driver’s Jacques le Gris is challenged to the last officially sanctioned duel in French history. In House of Gucci, Driver plays Maurizio Gucci, the Gucci heir who gets assassinated by hitmen hired by his scorned ex-wife.
Maurizio is like a fashion industry version of Michael Corleone: the wayward son who gets slowly drawn into the unscrupulous family business. Just as Michael is a war veteran with a bright future before becoming a mob boss, Maurizio is a law student with a bright future before taking over his family’s company. Driver’s hilariously nerdy portrayal of Maurizio brings a fresh angle to this familiar rise-and-fall character arc.
3 Al Pacino As Aldo Gucci
Al Pacino’s Uncle Aldo is hugely disappointed by his own son, Paolo, so he becomes way too involved in his nephew Maurizio’s life – especially after he gets married to an outsider.
Pacino gives a hilariously eccentric turn in the early scenes when Aldo is on top of the world, then switches to heartbreaking pathos when he loses everything and has to relinquish his empire to the traitors lurking within his splintered family unit.
2 Jared Leto As Paolo Gucci
Jared Leto gives the biggest, boldest performance in House of Gucci by far. His big-swing-taking acting style has been met with mixed reviews, with some praising him as the standout of the cast and others criticizing his offbeat choices.
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Leto’s accent is cartoonish, his body language is over-the-top, and his line deliveries are hammy. But it all works spectacularly with his character, because Paolo is characterized as a hapless moron. Keeping with the Godfather parallels, Paolo is the Guccis’ answer to Fredo: the family’s resident bumbling buffoon that all his relatives want to cut out of the business. Leto’s performance perfectly captures the “village idiot” vibe.
1 Lady Gaga As Patrizia Reggiani
In her first starring role since her revelatory turn in A Star is Born, Lady Gaga leads the cast of House of Gucci as Patrizia Reggiani, the social climber who marries into the Gucci family and ends up hiring contract killers to shoot her estranged husband dead.
Patrizia is certainly a challenging role, because hiring hitmen to take out an ex-spouse is a plot development ripped straight from a soap opera, but it was a real decision made by a real person. Gaga leans into the darkly comedic edge of the movie, but she also digs deep into the complex emotions that would lead someone to have their spouse killed.