|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Yves Saint Laurent|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2013|
|Running time:||Approx. 106 min.|
At just 21 years old in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent (Pierre Niney) was already one of France's best up-and-coming designers. As Christian Dior's right-hand man, he already seemed to have achieved all that could be accomplished as a young artist. But when Dior dies and Yves becomes the artistic director of the prestigious fashion brand, it is the beginning of a truly unique success story, the first chapter of which is written during a fashion show where Yves and Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne) meet. The two become an unbeatable pair not only in their personal lives, but also professionally. Their collaboration culminates after three years in the breakaway from Dior and the founding of their own fashion label Yves Saint Laurent. But the young fashion designer's penchant for perfection takes on increasingly self-destructive traits over the years, which not only affects his creativity but also his relationship with Pierre. But even his inner demons can no longer stop the revolution that Yves Saint Laurent has started in the fashion world.
With Yves Saint Laurent, director Jalil Lespert creates a memorial worthy in many respects of one of the most important fashion designers of all time. In Pierre Niney (LOL, It Boy), Lespert has found a superb leading man who does an excellent job of conveying the various facets of this torn artistic personality on screen. Niney's Yves Saint Laurent is at times a shy young man who is extremely uncomfortable with the admiration he receives and prefers to hide behind his designs. Then again, he's a moody eccentric who doesn't realize how much he's hurting the feelings of the people who love him. Niney's acting quickly changes from charming and warm to undercool and aloof. It's just not an idealized version of the fashion designer, but rather a poignant portrait of a brilliant mind who kept getting in his own way.
Yves Saint Laurent, however, not only portrays the artist and his long-standing relationship with Pierre Bergé whom Guillaume Gallienne (Asterix & Obelix - On a Mission from Her Majesty) portrays as a very reserved, down-to-earth counterpart to Yves. The film also pays tribute to the work of the fashion designer, the success story of the label and the fashion world of the late 50s and the 60s. Therefore, there should be at least some interest in fashion to fully enjoy this very classily filmed biopic. There is no question that Lespert has directed a very good film, which is also convincing in terms of acting. But it's also a fact that viewers who don't know much about haute coture might get a little bored here and there.
In addition, Yves Saint Laurent also suffers from the common biopic problem that a relatively extensive period of time is covered in a relatively short time. As a result, some aspects of the story turn out to be somewhat superficial, while others are given sufficient or even slightly too much time. The intense interplay between Pierre Niney and Guillaume Galliene makes up for some of the resulting weaknesses, though. Still, in the end the feeling remains that especially the last act could have used a bit more dramaturgical polish. But even if the film isn't quite as perfectly tailored as the noble gowns from the house of YSL, it still offers enough successful aspects to not have to be sold off in a clearance sale. Therefore, there is then for all lovers of French dramas, noble fashion and strongly acted biopics a clear: Longing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp