Ridley Scott Eats Own Hat might be a headline we see tomorrow after all those “apathetic millennials” who skipped The Last Duel turn around and flock to the theaters to see Lady Gaga go full Eyetalian in House of Gucci. According to Mashable, the critics are still torn about the film’s overall quality but everyone agrees that “Lady Gaga’s performance is something to behold,” the collective shade of which is the biggest gain we’ve had in combating global warming to date. That’s camp baby, that’s millennial catnip right there. Unmoisturized Matt Damon not so much. But most importantly, the consensus seems to be that the “outsized performances” in HOG make it, at the very least, “entertaining,” thus buying the Calderone glacier a little more time before it melts completely into the Adriatic sea.
Like Ridley’s other movie The Last Duel, HOG opens “only in theaters” tomorrow. Early reactions were mixed. Early reviews are also mixed, with many saying it wasn’t quite goofy enough to become a camp classic. But that’s probably not going to stop people from asking their loved ones to “passa dee masha-ed potatoes, per favore” at the Thanksgiving table this year. Mashable reports:
House of Gucci‘s trailers might have made one expect a camp, highly dramatic and over-the-top film, however the reality seems to be slightly more moderate. Reviewers noted House of Gucci never quite pushes itself into being unapologetically camp, but also doesn’t let itself be completely grounded and serious, leaving it awkwardly straddling the two. Many also agreed that the film noticeably drags in its second half, with Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson calling its last third “an epilogue stretched out to 45 minutes.”
However, Gaga’s scenery-chewing performance has been commended as “magnetic,” and in some ways the saving grace of House of Gucci. And while the star-studded cast including [Adam] Driver, Jared Leto, and Al Pacino may sometimes feel as though they’re all acting in different films, the spectacle of everyone revelling in their outsized performances is enough to at least make House of Gucci entertaining.
The AV Club said of Gaga’s performance as the murderous Patrizia Reggiani — “she might not deliver the most subtle performance, but she’s certainly magnetic. In the end, however, Patrizia Reggiani’s Wikipedia page is more entertaining than the middle hour of House Of Gucci.” All those gallons of hair dye and for what? Well, for The Guardian to turn around and say “Ridley Scott’s fantastically rackety, messy soap opera … is rescued from pure silliness by Lady Gaga’s glorious performance,” that’s what. That’s the power of hair acting (and of having an army of Little Monsters trolling film critics online)! It seems that the agreement is that the performances aren’t the problem, it’s Ridley’s fun-hating ass. According to IGN’s review:
House of Gucci starts with such promise as Adam Driver, Lady Gaga, and Al Pacino give performances that bring out the emotional complexity of the historically dysfunctional Gucci family. But then Ridley Scott becomes infatuated with tracking the fall of the corporation and its familial machinations instead of zeroing in on the more compelling personal implosion of Patrizia and Maurizio.
Forbes called it “long and lumbering” and they weren’t talking about Adam Driver’s physicality. But let’s not forget that there’s something for everyone. Some people actually did go see The Last Duel in the theater. Owen Gleiberman of Variety writes:
If you’re looking for overripe kitschy malevolence, you won’t find it, and if you’re looking for a hero to connect to, you won’t totally find that either. But if you get onto the film’s wavelength, the pageant of dynastic corporate war is mesmerizing.
So basically, if you hate camp and love corporate intrigue, HOG is for you. But, if you love camp and hate Unmoisturized Matt Damon, HOG is also for you.