Fashion designer Tom Ford and Aldo Gucci’s heirs are publicly criticizing director Ridley Scott’s big-screen drama, House of Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons, the film chronicles events that involved the scheming and misdeeds of key players at the Italian clothing label in the late 1970s and ’80s. It is based on Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.
“The production of the film did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci — president of the company for 30 years — and the members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them,” the family said in a statement, according to Variety. “This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today.”
Tom Ford, who served as creative director of Gucci from 1994 to 2004, appears as a character played by Reeve Carney in the film. Ford wrote about House of Gucci in an essay for Air Mail, praising the actors’ performances, but ultimately describing the film as a “glossy, heavily lacquered soap opera.”
“The movie rivals the nighttime soap Dynasty for subtlety, but does so with a much bigger budget,” Ford remarked. “The film is… well, I’m still not quite sure what it is exactly, but somehow I felt as though I had lived through a hurricane when I left the theater,” he added. “Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed?”
Ford went on to say he was “deeply sad” for several days after screening the movie, particularly because it brought back memories of the shooting death of Maurizio Gucci, whom he knew well and collaborated with for years.
“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,” he said. “But with Gaga’s and Driver’s strong performances, powerful over-the-top portrayals by the entire cast, impeccable costumes, stunning sets, and beautiful cinematography, the film, I suspect, will be a hit. Splash the Gucci name across things and they usually sell.”
Scott told he tried to be as “respectful as possible” to the family and the brand while still telling the truth. He also said he views the story as something of a satire.
“Time and space sometimes has to jump because of the nature of the length of the film. But the people that were writing from the family to us at the onset were alarmingly insulting, saying that Al Pacino did not represent physically Aldo Gucci in any shape or form. And yet, frankly, how could they be better represented than by Al Pacino? Excuse me! You probably have the best actors in the world, you should be so fucking lucky,” Scott said.
“It feels like a 15th century story told in the 21st century. It’s not far off than Medici, or the Borgias digression — you can’t call it progression, it was digression — had difficulty leading from one tragedy to another.”