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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.