It is always complicated to make a biopic about a figure as great as Yves Saint Laurent. Thanks to flashbacks and flashforwards, Bonello succeeds in embracing many years of the couturier’s life, though the focus is primarily on the years between 1967-1976. Drugs, alcohol, illness, nightclubs, love stories and orgies play together to make this movie as poetic as it’s rock’n’roll.
A sense of the magic of haute couture is omniscient thanks to beautiful lighting and perfect editing, which allows the spectator to see many aspects of life at one time.
The intelligent framing coupled with subtle use of mirrors allows us into the twisted mind of a fragile genius, interpreted with brio by Gaspard Ulliel, who brilliantly becomes YSL before our eyes.
Nevertheless, the director seems at times to be a little overwhelmed by the complexity of the life he portrays, which yields a very contemplative result. Perhaps Saint Laurent reminds him of himself: YSL was an artist and an artisan, as every movie maker aspires to be. In the world of show business, Bonello can be congratulated as he succeeds at directing moving pictures like a painting: a large frame with very subtle details that make all the difference (though, arguably, a shorter version would have been more enjoyable).
The UK release date for Saint Laurent is yet to be announced.
Read more reviews from Cannes Film Festival 2014 here.
For further information about the festival, visit the official website here.
Watch the trailer for Saint Laurent here: