Kristen Stewart’s clear path to the Oscars 2022 Best Actress award hit a speed bump this week as the first reactions to Ridley Scott’s star-studded “House of Gucci” put Lady Gaga immediately in the awards conversation.
“There’s a true standout performance here from Lady Gaga, funny and fearless and — crucially, in a movie prone to losing the thread — completely commanding,” Vanity Fair awards writer David Canfield wrote in his analysis of the film, reviews for which are embargoed until November 23 — just one day before its theatrical release. “She centers, even grounds the movie while having a grand time doing so. Accordingly, she’s firmly in the conversation for a second best-actress nomination, but how far she can go largely depends on the movie around her.”
Based on the book by Sara Gay Forden and directed by legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott, “House of Gucci” is a decades-spanning story about the tumultuous marriage between Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), which ultimately ended in divorce and murder. That doomed romance is played out against a battle for the Gucci brand throne, where Maurizio struggles for control of the family business against his scheming uncle Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and Aldo’s dim-witted son, Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto).
While Lady Gaga represents the film’s strongest chance at an acting nomination, Leto arguably has the showiest role — and he knew it. “I said to Ridley, ‘You know, I’d love to do this, but if I do, I’d go absolutely f–king crazy,’” Leto said after a screening last week at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
He was maybe underselling it: Affecting a thick Italian accent and rendered unrecognizable by prosthetics, Leto goes extremely big in “House of Gucci” and the former Oscar winner could be well-positioned to win his second trophy in 2022. If nothing else, in a Best Supporting Actor category that remains in flux and without a clear front-runner pick, Leto is certain to have the noisiest performance among the contenders. (Pacino, who was nominated at the 2020 Oscars for his bold turn as Jimmy Hoffa in “The Irishman” could also be in play for the film as well.)
Beyond its possible acting nods, “House of Gucci” could factor in the hair and makeup and costume design categories. Scott, meanwhile, has two cracks at receiving a nomination for Best Director, this film, and “The Last Duel.” As for the movie itself, with a set of 10 nominees, “House of Gucci” is also a contender in Best Picture — though as the early responses indicated on Tuesday, the movie will likely divide audiences and critics.
Not that its Oscars future should come as a total surprise: Among Gold Derby experts, “House of Gucci” has been pegged to earn nominations in Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor for Leto, as well as Best Costume Design.
Read first reactions about “House of Gucci” below. The movie is out in theaters on November 24.
HOUSE OF GUCCI: Spend your Thanksgiving with this family. Lady Gaga is the real deal – coming for acting nom #2. Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto also in the mix. I respect so much about this film, including how it allows almost every character to exist in shades of gray… pic.twitter.com/4oqxsIPIIK
— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) November 9, 2021
#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.
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) November 9, 2021
Sad to report House of Gucci is not good. At times you wonder if it's Ridley's first pass at an edit. More disappointing? Lady Gaga is bad. Not even CAMP good. There are moments when she's simply dead behind the eyes. Reminded of Madonna in Body of Evidence. (1) pic.twitter.com/7Qz9dMPvsO
— Gregory Ellwood – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) November 9, 2021
Lady Gaga's performance in HOUSE OF GUCCI is this alchemy of sheer charisma and presence, power of personality, and commitment to the bit. The way she stares daggers at everyone on screen is terrifying. The more I think about it, the more Patrizia is a true horror villain🖤
— Katie Walsh (@katiewalshstx) November 9, 2021
Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI is The Godfather, set in the world of fashion. It’s magnificently tense, and a borderline farcical, but it works so well because the entire cast is EXTRAORDINARY. Leto, Pacino, Gaga, Driver… all incredible. Ridley owns 2021. pic.twitter.com/QhJixhkidb
— Sean O'Connell (@Sean_OConnell) November 9, 2021
I mean it as an absolute compliment that while watching Gaga in HOUSE OF GUCCI, I wondered who she reminded me of, and then I realized it was Joan Cusack in ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) November 9, 2021
HOUSE OF GUCCI is not a good movie but it is a good time?
— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) November 9, 2021
Truly it has the most acting of any movie I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe ever! Few movies attempt to contain as much acting as HOUSE OF GUCCI!
— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) November 9, 2021
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. Lady Gaga is incredible, as is Jared Leto, and the story is WILD! The attention to detail is impeccable pic.twitter.com/BphR07VLP5
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) November 9, 2021
House of Gucci is a bloated & uneven mess that feels like two different movies rolled in one. Every single cast member acts as though they are in a different movie except for Al Pacino, who seems to have understood the assignment and serves as the film’s MVP. #HouseofGucci pic.twitter.com/Y5NvVkNvqI
#HouseofGucci is an overwrought slog without any discernible direction. 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
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) November 9, 2021
.@HouseOfGucciMov is absolutely divine. It is murderously delicious. The cast delivers the best performances of the year. Luxuriate with Adam Driver and Lady Gaga whose chemistry and performances are phenomenal. The film is a masterclass in acting. pic.twitter.com/PGmiZ1q05J
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 9, 2021
#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. pic.twitter.com/xh8nFrDXmC
— Clayton Davis (@ByClaytonDavis) November 9, 2021
HOUSE OF GUCCI is a hoot and a holler, a searing drama that imagines a world where Lady Dracula marries into the storied Mario family of the Mushroom Kingdom
— David Sims (@davidlsims) November 9, 2021
House of Gucci = juicy caviar camp, an absurdly enjoyable Italian soap opera where Bald Jared Leto pisses on a Gucci scarf. It ultimately eases on its gas to a fault, but Lady Gaga's earnest, ferocious performance completes her evolution from movie star to mighty dramatic actréss
I have seen House of Gucci, a movie that feels like it was made in the early 90s and yes I mean that as both a damming read and the greatest compliment
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