Saint Laurent

(France 2015)

Ah, the dark side of genius. Saint Laurent is packed with eye candy and has an awful going on visually—but sadly, that’s all it has going for it. A line from Saint Laurent (Gaspard Ulliel) himself sums up the problem concisely: “I like bodies without souls”—the soul of Saint Laurent being somewhere else. Not here in this film.

I was bored, which is a crime considering the real-life material director Bertrand Bonelli had to work with. Some of his choices are puzzling—the temporal chopping effect going back and forth through time is more an annoyance than anything, and I’m at a loss as to why he devotes so much time to seemingly trivial events like a board meeting in New York and a drug trip in an apartment. Who gives a shit, and why would they? Ulliel as young Saint Laurent is charming, full frontal and otherwise; but not even he can elevate this pedestrian slice of an interesting life.

(AMC River East) D

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