Lady Gaga House of Gucci

House Of Gucci: Lady Gaga’s new true crime fashion biopic is majorly dividing the critics

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Forever pushing the artistic boundaries, Lady Gaga has once again divided critics in Ridley Scott’s upcoming biopic House Of Gucci. Find out some of the first reactions to the film below.

It’s fair to say that Lady Gaga is not a woman to do things by halves. Whatever project she commits to, she goes all in: take the raw meat dress that she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010, the clear plastic egg that she hatched from at the 2011 Grammys, or the human horse she arrived on at the 2013 AMAs.

Yes, Gaga is the queen of all that is outrageous, outlandish and totally unforgettable. So it’s no surprise, really, that she’s dividing the critics once more in her new film House Of Gucci.

Based on the shocking real-life murder of Gucci heir, Maurizio Gucci, the biopic sees Gaga take on the part of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of orchestrating the infamous murder of her ex-husband and former head of the Gucci fashion house, Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver), in 1995. And, judging by the intense trailer, sensational shots of the cast on location and news that Gaga lived as her character for a year and a half, we’re in for a dramatic ride. 

While we wait impatiently to watch the true crime story later this month, however, we’ve been given a slight preview into what the blockbuster has in store. At the world premiere of House Of Gucci in London last night, Twitter was ablaze with reactions from the critics – and safe to say, they were certainly divided.

House of Gucci UK premiere
Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Adam Driver and Lady Gaga attend the UK premiere of House of Gucci

To say that opinions sat at opposite ends of the spectrum would be something of an understatement.

“GUCCI! #HouseOfGucci has a definite Godfather vibe, rich w/ family betrayal, transformative performances, lots of backstabbing & it’s definitely more serious than it is campy,” tweeted Erik Davis from Fandango. “Lady Gaga is incredible, as is Jared Leto, and the story is WILD! The attention to detail is impeccable.”

LA Times critic Katie Walsh, meanwhile, called Lady Gaga “this alchemy of sheer charisma and presence, power of personality, and commitment to the bit.”

Clayton Davis from Variety also added to the praise, noting that Lady Gaga “eats every morsel of her role up”. 

“#HouseOfGucci is quite the animal. Campy, everything Ridley Scott wanted The Counselor to be but wasn’t able to. Will be divided by many. Lady Gaga eats every morsel of her role up. Instantly the most quotable/meme-able movie since Borat. Jared Leto best since his Oscar win.”

And Jazz Tangcay from Variety agreed: “Yes, @ladygaga is a revelation as Patrizia. She is a tour-de-force and a powerhouse. I loved it #HouseOfGucci.”

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga in House Of Gucci
Lady Gaga’s new crime drama is based on the shocking real life murder of Maurizio Gucci.

Rolling Stone’s David Fear echoed the sentiment, writing that Lady Gaga’s acting talents are “absolutely criminal”.

Senior Entertainment Reporter at Bauer, Liv Marks, enthused: “I saw House of Gucci last week and it’s deliciously wild. Lady Gaga is a magnetic force. Just when you think she’s peaked, she goes and blows your mind all over again.

“There’s nothing this woman can’t do and it never ceases to amaze me. You’re not ready sweeties.”

Entertainment Weekly reporter Joey Nolfi, meanwhile, wrote that Lady Gaga’s “evolution from movie star to mighty dramatic actréss” was now complete.

David Ehrlich from IndieWire, meanwhile, shared what he believed to be one of the film’s most memorable soundbites.

“House of Gucci is very good, Jared Leto was born to play iconic fashion designer Fredo Waluigi Gucci, and — sorry if this is a spoiler — but at one point Lady Gaga says ‘it’s time to take out the trash.’”

Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly also said that although she thought the film was “in many ways a mess”, the production had seriously lifted her spirits.

“Is #HouseOfGucci a ‘good’ movie? In many ways it’s a mess, but the costumes and the camp accents (“GOOTCH-eeee”) and the pure bonkers Ridley Scott melodrama of it all still felt like a balm for my weary sweatpants soul.

“And if Gaga is not strictly Best Actress material, she is still the soul and tiny-espresso-cup spirit of the film,” she added.

Chris O’Falt of IndieWire also appreciated the melodrama.

“Big & soapy, this really hit the spot for me. Everything Leto & Pacino do is lol ridiculous, yet nicely balanced with Driver & Gaga’s mannered 50s melodrama turns,” he tweeted.

“Ridley Scott has everyone acting in the same movie, while going big with glorious gusto.”

But other critics weren’t so enthusiastic. Brandon Katz from the Observer wasn’t one to mince his words.

“#HouseofGucci is an overwrought slog without any discernible direction,” he tweeted. “Too many narrative focuses stacked on top of one another. Glitzy talented names hamming it up in wealth porn can be fun, but not enough to save the movie from its own messiness.”

“Al Pacino gives the best performance, Gaga overdoes it (somewhat by necessity of the role), Jared Leto is acting in an entirely different movie, and Adam Driver seems to understand what movie he’s actually in. #HouseofGucci,” he added.

Anne Thompson from IndieWire was similarly displeased with the performances.

“#HouseofGucci is a crowdpleaser that critics will not support. At the Academy Museum screening last week, SAG actors showed support for the film’s most egregious scene-chewers, Lady Gaga and Jared Leto, who may squeak into SAG or Oscar race, but could have used the Golden Globes.”

Whichever way public opinion falls when the film is released later this month, House of Gucci will no doubt continue to be a glorious distraction in the grey autumn months. And let’s not forget: there’s always the memes to look forward to as well. Little monsters assemble…

House Of Gucci is released in UK cinemas on 26 November 2021. 

Images: Getty; Universal Pictures

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.