Overall, Tom Ford appeared to be engaged by “House of Gucci,” writing in the Air Mail essay that, “The shiny, ambitious, beautifully filmed and costumed tale of greed and murder is stunning by the sheer number of stars that have been cast. The movie rivals the nighttime soap ‘Dynasty’ for subtlety but does so with a much bigger budget.” Ultimately, though, Ford admitted he was perplexed by what he’d seen, writing, “I felt as though I had lived through a hurricane when I left the theater. Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed? I often laughed out loud, but was I supposed to?”
It was the performances of Al Pacino and Jared Leto which drew the most criticism from Ford, who likened their scenes to a parody skit. “At times, when Al Pacino, as Aldo Gucci, and Jared Leto, as Aldo’s son Paolo Gucci, were on-screen, I was not completely sure that I wasn’t watching a ‘Saturday Night Live’ version of the tale,” Ford wrote.
Still, Ford appeared complimentary of the actor’s talents in his criticism of Leto, even though his portrayal of Paolo was not as the designer remembered him. “Leto’s brilliance as an actor is literally buried under latex prosthetics. Both performers are given license to be absolute hams — and not of the prosciutto variety,” Ford wrote. “They must have had fun. Paolo, whom I met on several occasions, was indeed eccentric and did some wacky things, but his overall demeanor was certainly not like the crazed and seemingly mentally challenged character of Leto’s performance.”