Yves Saint Laurent (2014): Biopic of Genius Fashion Icon

yves_saint_laurent_3_lespertDirected by Jalil Lespert, and co-written with Jacques Fieschi, Jérémie Guez and Marie-Pierre Huster, Yves Saint Laurent is a conventional biopic of the life (and especially the demons) of the internationally famous designer.

Thematically formulaic and emotionally shallow, the film does not begin to capture the eccentricties and idiosyncracies of the talented designer, who died in 1971.

It may or may not be a coincidence that two biopics of Saint Laurent–neither good or satisfying–were made this year.  The other film, simply called “Saint Laurent,” world premiered in Competition at the Cannes Film Fest, in May.

Largely based on two sources, Laurence Benaïm‘s biography of Saint Laurent and Bergé’s reminiscences in his book “Letters to Yves,” this film centers on the incredible efforts and success of Yves Saint Laurent and his personal companion and business partner Pierre Berge to promote the French fashion industry all over the world.

yves_saint_laurent_4_lespertPremiering at the Panorama Section of the 64th Berlin Film Fest, in February, “Yves Saint Laurent” received mixed to negative response upon theatrical release, especially in the U.S.  Conventional to a fault, the biopic fails to convey the unique genius that defined the artist and the man.

One of the film’s most elaborate scenes depicts Bergé’s efforts in sending out models on the runway for a reconstitution of Saint Laurent’s famous Opéra Ballets Russes collection of 1976.

yves_saint_laurent_2_lespertSeveral scenes of the film, which is officially sponsored by Berge, were shot at the original venues of the fashions shows and the company’s headquarters on Avenue Marceau in Paris.

Reportedly, Bergé’s Foundation ahas lso loaned the filmmakers over 70 vintage outfits from its archives

 

 

Cast

Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent

Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Bergé

Charlotte Le Bon as Victoire Doutreleau

Laura Smet as Loulou de la Falaise

Marie de Villepin as Betty Catroux

Xavier Lafitte as Jacques De Bascher

Nikolai Kinski as Karl Lagerfeld

Ruben Alves as Fernando Sánchez

Marianne Basler as Lucienne Saint-Laurent

Astrid Whettnall as Yvonne De Peyerimhoff

Anne Alvaro as Marie-Louise Bousquet

Michèle Garcia as Raymonde Zehnacker

Patrice Thibaud as Christian Dior

Amira Casar as Anne-Marie Munoz

Alexandre Steiger as Jean-Pierre Debord

Jean-Édouard Bodziak as Bernard Buffet