Saint Laurent details the life of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. When he’s not revolutionizing fashion and in effect, womankind, what does YSL do? According to this biopic he parties religiously and finds muses for his dresses on the dance floor. He keeps a semi-romantic, semi-professional relationship with his lover and business partner Pierre. He tries to figure out if he wants the sensual Jacques enough to drown in drugs, drugs, and more drugs. Sometimes, YSL also fends off imaginary cobras that slither on his bed, and at the same time plays dad to his beloved French bulldog Moujik.
For something that’s 2 hours and 30 minutes long, it was not agonizing as you would expect a movie of that length to be. Saint Laurent is magical, not in the least because the life of the legend himself is intriguing, but because as a movie it stands on its own. The colors are rich, vibrant, and reminiscent of the sixties and seventies, which are the main periods for the narrative. The scene sequencing, despite featuring jumps from the past to the present and back again, is never confusing. It also helps that the tempo of the film is alive – brisk most of the time, but glacial at just the right moments. Gaspard Ulliel outdoes himself and delivers a performance that will remind people that he’s not just a gorgeous face. His portrayal of Saint Laurent is at once stubborn and fragile – very much like the real YSL pegged by this film.
For Saint Laurent, 4 out of 5 stars.
This movie was part of the French Film Fest Manila 2015.
*Review originally posted on Facebook.
Photo credit: French Embassy Manille on Facebook