REVIEW: ‘Saint Laurent’ (2014)

Saint LaurentTitle: ‘Saint Laurent’
2014, France/Belgium
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel

‘Saint Laurent’ is one of the two biopics that came out in 2014 about the life of the famous fashion designer. Enriched by the presence of some of the greatest young French talents, this is a movie capable of inspiring mixed and conflicting emotions. Artistically speaking, there is a lot to be praised: Ulliel’s acting, the cinematography, the costumes, the recreation of the 60’s-70’s era… There is certainly a reason (well, more than one) if ‘Saint Laurent’ got nominated for 10 César Awards.

At the same time, Bonello’s film is ultimately flawed with a script that leaves the casual audience, the one that’s not familiar with YSL’s life details, vulnerable to a sense of confusion. I’m all for movies not being too obvious and self-explanatory, but in this case there were quite a few obscure sequences that just flew over my head. As a consequence, I couldn’t help but feel like something was amiss. The exploration of Saint Laurent’s character, genius and frailties seemed somehow partial and incomplete.

Running at 2 hours and 30 minutes, ‘Saint Laurent’ indulges way too long in its aesthetics, almost forgetting about the story it was supposed to tell.



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