At two points in House of Gucci, Lady Gaga says synonyms for garbage with more conviction than a trial lawyer’s closing argument. If you’ve seen the movie’s trailer, you know one of them: “It’s time to take out the trash,” Gaga says, hand on hip, her eyes searing into Adam Driver’s soul. The other time is also directed at Driver: “Our name, sweetie, on junk,” she retorts, giving that word 19 extra syllables. In the scene, her character Patrizia is angry at her husband, Maurizio (Driver), for dismissing Gucci knock-offs that are selling like hotcakes in underground markets. It’s a deliciously over-the-top reaction, and Gaga chews the scenery with passion and 100 percent believability.
In short, it’s everything you want from Mother Monster in this movie—which centers on the Gucci family’s wild history, culminating with the assassination of Maurizio, as ordered by Patrizia. But it would be unfair to write off Gaga’s performance as just camp. She embodies Patrizia, mind, body, and soul—it just so happens that Patrizia to her core is, well, camp.
Which, of course, makes for one of the most entertaining performances you’ll see on screen this year. Is House of Gucci a good movie? I’d give it a solid 7.5/10. It’s very entertaining—if a bit choppy at times—and contains enough thrills to keep you hooked for its bloated two-and-a-half-hour run time. But Gaga’s performance is 10/10. I say that, yes, as a stan, but a stan who went into House of Gucci trepidatious as hell, fearing Gaga’s performance in A Star Is Born was a fluke. I truly was expecting the worst. What I got was the complete opposite: a ferociously fun movie with committed, Oscar-worthy work from Gaga. She is the Cher-slash-Barbara Streisand of our generation, and House of Gucci proves that.