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Yves Saint Laurent

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France, Belgium · 2014
Rated R · 1h 46m
Director Jalil Lespert
Starring Pierre Niney, Guillaume Gallienne, Nikolai Kinski, Charlotte Le Bon
Genre Drama

This film examines the life and career of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, from his childhood in French Algeria to the beginning of his career to his relationship with his lover and business partner Pierre Bergé. As critics and other designers doubt him, Yves leans into the avant-garde and creates an extraordinary fashion empire for the ages.

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What are critics saying?


Total Film by

Jalil Lespert’s film treats its hero with a high seriousness that not even Niney’s uncanny portrayal of YSL’s artistry and mental fragility can justify.


Empire by Angie Errigo

As elegant as the man's clothes, this handsome biopic traces 20 incident-filled years in the life of the designer.


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

Though the screenplay, based on Laurence Benaim’s biography, is all build-up and no payoff, there is just enough emotional insight to compensate for the lack of narrative fireworks in the last half-hour.


Time Out London by Cath Clarke

Sadly, this polite film, though touching in places, is so desperate not to offend, it’s the film equivalent of sensible shoes. Diehard fashionistas may disagree.


Slant Magazine by Clayton Dillard

For all of the supposed passion and anguish in Saint Laurent's clothing and relationships, Jalil Lespert consistently neglects to imbue the film with such a comparable level of ambition or desire.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Clothes make the man, but can’t save the film, in Yves Saint Laurent, in which the life of one of haute couture’s great innovators gets disappointingly by-the-numbers treatment.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Over the twenty-odd years the film covers, Saint Laurent is scene-by-scene depicted as a genius, a manic-depressive, a polyamorist, a drug taker, a mercurial friend, a partier and a terribly, terribly sensitive soul. He undoubtedly was all of these things and more, it's just a pity he doesn't also come across as a person.


CineVue by Joe Walsh

With Yves Saint Laurent, Lespert has played it safe but stylish, and pulls it off thanks to some canny casting choices and a refreshing focus on mainstream appeal.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

Rather than do something freshly cinematic with Saint Laurent’s precise, elegant creations, the film is content to exhibit them.

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