Saint Laurent

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 1.5

Second biopic released in 2014 about famed designer Yves Saint Laurent (played by Gaspard Ulliel), who helped revolutionize the fashion industry with his craftsmanship and creativity ... while sinking into drug addiction. Bonello's stylistic flourishes can be striking (the split screen sequence, for example) but his "peering at decadence with an air of detachment" approach, which worked perfectly for the hazy House of Tolerance, doesn't cut it here: for one, it's too fascinated with YSL's drug use and promiscuity and not nearly interested enough in him as an artist or even in his rocky relationship with lover Pierre Bergé (Jérémie Renier) ... who, in one particular scene that stops the movie cold, has to conduct a business meeting for Yves. If one doesn't walk into this already semi-knowledgeable about the subject's life and associates, expect to be baffled as to who everyone is or what's going on - still, it's superbly cast, particularly Ulliel as a younger YSL and Helmut Berger as the older, paunchier version: their vocal inflections and posturing are eerily accurate.