Yves Saint Laurent

  • Film
  • Drama
0 Love It

Lucky old Coco Chanel with her rags-to-riches fairytale life (talk about biopic-friendly: taught to sew by nuns in an orphanage; scarred by the tragic death of her great love). Yves Saint Laurent might be a fashion legend up there with Chanel, but if this sluggish drama is anything to go by, we can live without his story. It picks up with Saint Laurent as a 21-year-old boy wonder (played brilliantly by French actor Pierre Niney), nervy and tortured by self-doubt. It’s 1957 and he’s the new head designer of France’s biggest fashion house, Christian Dior. A couple of years later, conscripted to fight in the Algerian war, he suffers a mental breakdown after bullying about his sexuality.

Enter Pierre Bergé – the businessman who became his boyfriend, bodyguard and business partner. Perhaps there’s a film to be made about their fascinating relationship. Saint Laurent battled coke addiction and depression, and it was Bergé who kept him from self-destructing. As a couple they split in 1976, but stayed close until Saint Laurent’s death in 2008. Sadly, this polite film, though touching in places, is so desperate not to offend, it’s the film equivalent of sensible shoes. Diehard fashionistas may disagree.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday March 21 2014
Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jalil Lespert
Screenwriter: Jacques Fieschi, Jalil Lespert, Marie-Pierre Huster, Jérémie Guez
Cast: Pierre Niney
Guillaume Gallienne
Charlotte Le Bon

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Christine L

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Ivana_Kumm

Though there's much to be said for a short-n-sweet biopic, this one pares a very full and interesting life to the bone. 

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The film starts with Yves, 18-ish y/o, sketching - never once having touched on his formative years in Algieria - and his endless childhood drawing.  Conversely, the film dwells for a long time on 30-something Yves and his abuse of booze and drugs - I felt this footage was at the massive expense of the financial story behind the YSL brand, Pierre Bergé's genius at getting YSL cosmetics and perfumes launched, which made the pair of them rich beyond the dreams of averice and created an enduring brand. 

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If you're going to see the film for the fashion - some of it's there, but all too fleetingly, unfortunately. The acting's superb throughout - absolutely brilliant.  But, truth be told, as much as I was looking forward to this film, I found it a little dull.