The Gucci Family Aren't Very Happy With House Of Gucci

The Gucci family (or at least some of them) have finally seen "House of Gucci" and, surprise, surprise, they are none too pleased. Considering that a few members of the family had spoken out about how much they didn't like the casting before the movie was even in theaters, their response to the movie at large is definitely on theme. Critics might be indulging in the horrible Italian accents, excellent costuming, and the top-to-bottom campy waves that emanate right off of Ridley Scott's latest film, but it's clear that the people who were actually there (or who are at least related to the people who were actually there) feel differently. More than anything, "House of Gucci" reminds us that fashion is forever and that making movies about people who are still alive is hard! 

According to the Italian wire service ANSA, the heirs of Aldo Gucci (who was played by Al Pacino in the film) have released a signed statement saying, "The Gucci family reserve the right to take every initiative (necessary) to protect their name and image and those of their loved ones." The statement continues, adding that the family was upset that about Patrizia Reggiani's (played by Lady Gaga) portrayal as a victim, and that the Guccis at large were characterized as, "thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them."

Tom Ford's Take

And I don't know if I can blame them? Not entirely, at least. While reducing Lady Gaga's portrayal of Patrizia "Black Widow" Reggiani to nothing more than a victim doesn't feel correct, it's definitely a more nuanced portrait of Reggiani than I would probably be comfortable with if she murdered one of my family members. At the same time, I don't think I would watch any move that was ever made about my family. That's like a very extreme version of reading the comments on a story you've written. I can't imagine any mental health professional would recommend it.

Yet, the Gucci family aren't the only people who have spoken out about the film. The designer Tom Ford, who is played by Reeve Carney and features briefly towards the end of "House of Gucci," wrote an entire essay about it for the website Air Mail. In it, he speaks honestly about the casting, pacing, and plot of the movie, but he ends with a thought that feels incredibly relatable, even if the circumstances portrayed in the movie seem stranger than fiction:

"I was deeply sad for several days after watching 'House of Gucci,' a reaction that I think only those of us who knew the players and the play will feel. It was hard for me to see the humor and camp in something that was so bloody. In real life, none of it was camp. It was at times absurd, but ultimately it was tragic."

We Don't Know What Happened

In a time where we've all recently learned the word "parasocial" and are possibly thinking more deeply about our relationships to media and to famous people, whether niche or internationally known, I think Ford's essay serves as a reminder to have empathy and think a little more critically about the art and culture you consume. 

I don't think that means you shouldn't watch "House of Gucci" or that Scott should be concerned about legal threats (he's clearly not), but it does mean you can feel multiple ways about a piece of art. You can watch "House of Gucci" with someone you love and laugh and talk about the costumes, and you can see where the Gucci family, or someone like Ford, is coming from. We may have watched the movie, but we don't know the story.