Posts Tagged ‘Yves Saint Laurent’

as Yves Saint Laurent

Gaspard Ulliel as Yves Saint Laurent

“SAINT LAURENT” My rating: C+

150 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Even this  fashion backwards film reviewer recognizes the late Yves Saint Laurent, the French couturier who pioneered classy ready-to-wear clothing and founded a wildly successful company that bears his name.

But if you want to understand exactly who Yves Saint Laurent was — well, you’re not going to get much help from “Saint Laurent,” writer/director Bertrand Bonello’s fragmented, impressionistic epic (like, 2 1/2 hours).

The film is great looking and at moments offers a near-documentary feel for the ’60s and ’70s when Saint Laurent was at his creative peak.

But it tells us surprisingly little about the man, his design ethos, or even the fashions he created.

Like a plate of spaghetti thrown against a wall, the film is scattered and splattered, frequently colorful but impossibly messy. Individual moments stick in the mind, but the overall impression is one of angst and hedonistic excess.

As the young Saint Laurent (who is portrayed in his dotage by Helmut Berger), Gaspard Ulliel is eerily believable — thin, high cheekbones, a shy smile, oversized glasses and a mop of Beatle-ish hair. But the film won’t let the actor explore the character’s inner life. This fellow may be a design genius (you’ll have to take that as a given, since the film makes no effort to actually make the case), but mostly he comes off as an idiot savant living a hermetically sealed life.


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