Yves Saint Laurent

Biopics can be difficult to bring to the silver screen. All too often they can fail to capture the essence of the real life person they are depicting on screen or simplify their lives too much just to fit a 2 hour narrative. This latest biopic is of the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Starting in 1958 we see the shy Yves Saint Laurent working on his first collection as head designer of Dior. We then follow his rise through the fashion ranks, his complicated relationship with Pierre Berge as well as his issues with mental health, love affairs and drugs.

Firstly this film looks lovely, I enjoyed seeing Yves Saint Laurent at work, working to create his deisgns which would go on to become so influential in the fashion world. But as lovely as it looks, the film fails to sparkle like I feel it should.

Maybe I’ve just bored of biopics of famous people detailing thier lives of drugs and sex but I  was more interested in his work, I enjoyed the fashion shows, his obssession with his work  and seeing him creating his iconic outfits. This seems to be the only aspect of his life he can cope with and the only place he can make good decisions in his life is within his work, everything else seems to just falls apart.

The actors are fine in their roles. Pierre Niney captures the fashion designer well, with his shy nervous nature as opposed to his blunt, confident approach to his work. Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Berge is also strong as  the designer’s buisness partner and lover. Everything in this film is fine, but I kept waiting for the film to be more than just fine. Yves Saint Laurent aspired so much devotion, from his workers and his fans but the film didn’t really capture why he was adored so much. The bits we see of him creating his designs are really interesting but I wished to see more of that. We get hints of his inspirations for his work and told about some of his daring clothes but I would have liked to have gone into more detail of this area rather than always going back to his personal life and drug addled love affairs.

Other biopics such as Coco Chanel have woven the personal and professional lives of it’s designer in a way that feels fresh and involving. However this film fails to elvate it’s material and be a bipoic that connects with its audience. There’s another film about the designer coming out this year, perhaps Saint Laurent will give me what I missed from this movie.

Rating 2.5/5 -a missed opportunity that fails to rise to the challenge of giving the ultimate biopic of Yves Saint Laurent



Filed under Reviews

4 responses to “Yves Saint Laurent

  1. What a pity. From everything I’ve read, including your cool review,it’s been really disappointing.

    • The film was ok but I was hoping for better. Hopefully the other biopic will be better, it would be interesting to see how the two compare. Maybe it’ll be better on dvd?

  2. Nice review. I enjoyed seeing Yves’ collections recreated on the big screen but I agree with you that the professional and personal aspects of his life did not blend as well as they could have in the script. On the whole I found this quite a depressing watch, which was perhaps the point, but it also felt a little hollow. I felt that I never really understood Yves as he was presented here and found it hard to connect despite a solid performance from Niney.

    • Thanks, You’re right it was hollow and it was missing something to bring it to life properly. Strange how his personal life came across (to me anyway) as the least interest aspect of his life even though I’m sure he was an interesting individual but the film fail to show this.

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