Bonello offers us a impressionistic visual fantasy that gives us a feel of the man and his tortured psyche, and also of the era. There are many nods to Proust, Visconti and Warhol, who each in their way, described a similarly lush decadent society. Ulliel's convincing portrayal of Saint Laurent makes us forget he is almost too beautiful, Garrel is perfect as his lover, Jacques de Bascher.
YSL est attachant & son art admirable dans ce long biopic plus proche de Harlequin que de Jean GENET. ULLIEL joue affecté. GAREL & SEYDOUX s'ennuient, nous aussi. Dommage que la musique n'ait pas rythmé les années. == As for GAREL & SEYDOUX, we got bored in this falsely decadent biopic, closer to Harlequin than to Jean Genet. Despite ULLIEL, YSL & his art are endearing. Too bad the music did not punctuate YSL years.
Everybody knows Yves Saint Laurent, but it's not the easiest story to follow. It unfolds in bits and pieces of random relevant events of his life, and in no particular order. It feels too abstract sometimes, it was hard to take it all in. The long runtime wasn't the problem (2.5 hours), it was great. How it was presented was. Though he looks nothing like Saint Laurent, Gaspard Ulliel's portrayal is undeniable good.
Gaspard U. reminds me of Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. Another extraterrestrial addict. YST is totally an extraterrestrial. Which, from his standpoint, would make the rest of us aliens. Women are particularly alien. They are alien alters, fetishized from a great distance. Something about celebrity removes the person who possesses it from the world. YST is very far away. Hence the ending. A really great ending.
By concentrating on a shorter time period with a more leisurely running time Bonello's sublime portrait of YSL is by far the superior film in comparison to Lespert's. Simply gorgeous in execution from its authentic costuming to its wonderful set design and exquisite cinematography. Music choices and score are also memorable. Performance wise Ulliel is quite magnificent with strong turns by Rennier and Berger.
2.5/5. Overall, it's fine to look it, but over-indulges in attempts to be "artistic"; I quickly became bored of the incessant close-ups and long takes that didn't lend themselves to anything besides empty form. While the film is arguably an hour too long, Ulliel and Garrel give fantastic performances, despite teaching us nothing about the man himself nor his impact. Oh, and the tens of dogs, too.