Yves Saint Laurent might be hard to watch, but it’s one of the most honest biopics I’ve seen in the recent decade.
If you’re looking to be wowed by YSL’s fashion, this movie is not for you. The movie tried to balance telling the story of the rise of the style icon (Pierre Niney), while focusing on his struggles and his relationship with his longtime partner and lover Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne). Niney has a strong, yet fragile presence. It’s obvious that he tried to give YSL justice. But something about the movie didn’t make him feel comfortable enough to shine.
The resulting bio-drama feels like a generic formula of a self-destructive artist tale, one that captures the surface of Saint Laurent, but not his essence. One of the issues is that director Jalil Lespert provides little insight into Saint Laurent’s creative genius, or his struggles with alcohol and substance abuse.
In fact, it is an elegantly filmed and exceptionally acted biopic that may be too tasteful a drama for such a ravishing figure. It’s clear that the director and producers wanted to pay homage to YSL without showing anything hurtful about him.
Should you watch it?
Even with its flaws, Yves Saint Laurent is a satisfying film on a purely visual level. A formulaic biopic that focuses more on the struggles of the fashion icon than talent.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream Yves Saint Laurent on Paramount+ in USA and Canada.