It seems the toughest critic of House of Gucci isn’t a journalist or the Gucci family relatives, but a man that sat at the helm of the House for 10 years. Tom Ford was commissioned to write a film review for Air Mail as a designer who worked under Maurizio Gucci for four of the years that are covered in the film. He did not hold back in a scathing article comparing it to a night time soap opera or a sketch on Saturday Night Live.
“I recently survived a screening of the two-hour-and-37-minute film that is House of Gucci,” Ford wrote.
While he admitted he was perhaps biased due to his experience at the luxury fashion house, he continued, “The movie rivals the nighttime soap Dynasty for subtlety but does so with a much bigger budget. Directed by master filmmaker Ridley Scott and starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto, and Salma Hayek, the film is … well, I’m still not quite sure what it is exactly, but somehow I felt as though I had lived through a hurricane when I left the theatre.”
“Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed? I often laughed out loud, but was I supposed to?,” he added.
Ford began working at Gucci in 1990 before he was promoted as creative director from 1994 to 2004. “At times, when Al Pacino, as Aldo Gucci, and Jared Leto, as Aldo’s son Paolo Gucci, were on-screen, I was not completely sure that I wasn’t watching a Saturday Night Live version of the tale,” the designer published.
There was a positive note to the harsh review. He praised the “impeccable costumes, stunning sets, and beautiful cinematography” but was more so impressed by the performance of Lady Gaga.
“It is her film, and she steals the show. In her often over-the-top portrayal of Patrizia Gucci, her accent migrates occasionally from Milan to Moscow,” he continued. “But who cares? Her performance is spot-on. Her face is the thing that one can’t take one’s eyes off of. When she is on-screen, she owns the frame – not an easy task with so many seasoned and talented cast members vying for our attention. Too many, in fact.”
He also noted Adam Driver’s “subtle and nuanced performance.”
The film faced plenty of controversy before the release. Patrizia Gucci, one of Maurizio’s second cousins, slammed the film for not approaching the family before production and criticised the casting of Al Pacino. Similarly, Ford revealed that the film left him saddened for “several days” as “a reaction that I think only those of us who knew the players and the play will feel.”
House of Gucci has already released in US and UK theatres. Australia will have to wait until January 1.