Tom Ford Compared ‘House Of Gucci’ To ‘SNL,’ Saying He ‘Laughed Out Loud, But Was I Supposed To?’

It must be strange watching an actor play yourself in a splashy, star-studded biopic, especially when that splashy, star-studded biopic is House of Gucci. The Thanksgiving release is getting mixed reviews, though the general consensus is that it turns a tragic true tale into a trashy, campy farce. So what did Tom Ford, the fashion legend (and filmmaker) depicted in the film’s second half, think? Well, he had a lot of mixed feelings, too.

As caught by Entertainment Weekly, Ford penned an entire essay for Air Mail about his experiences watching the second Ridley Scott movie in as many months. (The Last Duel got far more robust reviews in October, but then, no one saw it.) It begins like this: “I recently survived a screening of the two-hour-and-37-minute film that is House of Gucci.” He calls the movie, from “master filmmaker Ridley Scott,” “shiny” and “ambitious” but also claims it “rivals the nighttime soap Dynasty for subtlety but does so with a much bigger budget.”

Ford, who is played in the movie by Reeve Carney and is briefly shown taking over the struggling Gucci empire in 1990, was left with a distinct feeling of whiplash. “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,” Ford wrote. “Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed? I often laughed out loud, but was I supposed to?”

Of course, he can’t help but be biased, as per his own admission. “I also knew many of the other players in this saga and was interviewed on multiple occasions for the book that was the source material for the film,” he admitted, “so it is hard for me to divorce reality from the glossy, heavily lacquered soap opera that I witnessed on screen.”

One thing that rubbed Ford the wrong way was that, for him, obviously, the murder of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver in the film) was no campy, laughing matter. “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,” Ford said. “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.”

That said, Ford couldn’t completely resist some of the more, shall we say, over-the-top performances. “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,” he wrote. “Both performers are given license to be absolute hams — and not of the prosciutto variety.”

But not everyone in the film is glazed ham. Driver, Ford writes, “gives a subtle and nuanced performance.” And Lady Gaga, as Mauricio’s eventually estranged wife Patrizia, is”the true star of the film.” He adds:

“In her often over-the-top portrayal of Patrizia Gucci, her accent migrates occasionally from Milan to Moscow. But who cares? Her performance is spot-on. Her face is the thing that one can’t take one’s eyes off of. When she is on screen, she owns the frame — not an easy task with so many seasoned and talented cast members vying for our attention. Too many, in fact.”

But feel free to judge for yourself. House of Gucci is now in theaters.

(Via Air Mail and EW)