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With Jim Sabatini

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent
Gaspard Ulliel, Jeremie Renier, Louis Garrel and Amira Casar

Rated: R for graphic nudity/strong sexual situations, substance abuse throughout and some language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 22, 2015 Released by: Sony Pictures Classics

A lengthy, if limited biopic of the iconic fashion designer mostly covers his famous decade from the mid 1960s to mid1970s from Bertrand Bonello with much attention to detail as restive and liberal as his approach to the material is that may contrast well with more traditional treatments of Coco Chanel (likeCoco Before Chanel and Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky). Saint Laurent stars Gaspard Ulliel, Jeremie Renier, Louis Garrel, and Amira Casar in this bustling, if someone arcane rendering in French with English subtitles.

It's not the typical all-access look with an inviting refurbishing of décor and costumes, especially in his quite persuasive collection known as the Ballets Russes before becoming a solitary older fellow (done with some powerful continuity by Helmut Berger). As the young influential Yves, Ulliel educes a tender vulnerability, along with a modesty that goes along with his thin physical frame.

In 1958 Yves struck up an important business and personal relationship with Renier's compassionate Pierre Berge, but that's not really important to Bonello as anemic carnal urges and steamy fling with Parisian "It" designer Jacques de Bascher done with fermenting fervor by Garrel (remembered as Eva Green's sibling in Bernardo Bertolucci's explicit The Dreamers).

Some discerning arthouse patrons will enjoy the mood and nuts-and-bolts of what a fastidious fashion design studio entails as officiated by Anne-Marie Munoz, a chicly imperious Casar. Overall, Saint Laurent doesn't have the expected poignancy and insight of such a diversely driven and impassioned individual. Nonetheless, a less sanctioned and insufficiently melodramatic and romantic version (see Jalil Lespert's recent interpretation) still has enough spirited unadulterated expression especially through the proficiently elaborate costume designing of Anais Romand.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Saint Laurent        C+                     C+ 

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