Yves Saint Laurent

"Good"

Yves Saint Laurent Review


Like Coco Before Chanel, this French designer biopic is far too respectful of its subject to come to life properly as a movie. It's gorgeous to look at, and features striking performances and a strong central story. But filmmaker Jalil Lespert maintains a too-worthy tone that makes the storyline drag badly, even though there's a strikingly intriguing relationship at the centre.

The film picks up the story of Yves Saint Laurent (Pierre Niney) in the 1950s, when the 21-year-old hotshot is shaking up Paris as a designer for Christian Dior. When military service costs him his job and shakes his mental health, his lover Pierre Berge (Guillaume Gallienne) steps in and becomes his professional partner, helping him establish YSL as an iconic brand. Over the decades Yves reinvents fashion by combining classic looks with imaginative flourishes. As he falls into drugs and alcohol to cope with the overpowering expectations, it's Pierre who keeps him going and manages the company to global powerhouse status. Although outside liaisons put a strain on their personal relationship.

Lespert does a remarkable job at capturing Saint Laurent's visual aesthetic, filling the screen with bold colours, sleek lines and achingly beautiful clothes. The immaculately recreated catwalk shows are stunning, while the raucously staged parties are packed with actors playing iconic figures. But all of these people are little more than bursts of colour in an otherwise glum movie.

At the centre, Niney is terrific as a man who knows he's falling apart while everyone around him celebrates his triumphant success. And he looks great in those skinny suits and geeky specs, even though Yves' diva behaviour and wanton self-destruction make him sometimes unlikeable. Meanwhile, Gallienne is the film's trump card, a controlling presence who actually cares for Yves.

Their rocky relationship is by far the most interesting thing in the film, much more engaging than the stylish excesses and druggy indulgence. So we feel cheated that the film simply skips over the final 30 years of Yves and Pierre's life together. This leaves the film feeling incomplete, as if the screenwriters simply missed the point. In their rush to celebrate a famous designer, they forgot to tell the story of the man.

Watch 'Yves Saint Laurent' Trailer


 



Yves Saint Laurent

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 8th January 2014

Box Office USA: $0.7M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: WY Productions, SND, Hérodiade, Umedia

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 35

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Yannick Bollore, Wassim Beji

Starring: as Yves Saint Laurent, as Pierre Bergé, as Karl Lagerfeld, as Victoire Doutreleau, Xavier Lafitte as Jacques De Bascher, as Loulou de la Falaise, as Betty Catroux, Ruben Alves as Fernando Sanchez, Astrid Whettnall as Yvonne de Peyerimhoff, as Lucienne Saint Laurent, Adeline D'Hermy as Anne-Marie Munoz, Jean-Édouard Bodziak as Bernard Buffet, as Jean-Pierre Debord, as Raymonde Zehnacker, Olivier Pajot as Charles

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.