“We’re not doing a biopic, we’re doing a film” is a refrain in interviews of director Bertrand Bonello about his gorgeous, super-chichi “Saint Laurent.” The perfumed atmosphere concocted to capture a decade or so in the life of the seminal designer is simultaneously hectic and louche, moving in a hyperstylized swirl of texture and sensation, with time jumps, multiple actors playing Laurent, split screens. The split-screens are a nod to Mondrian, Bonello has said, who inspired early work by St. Laurent. The grandiose two-and-a-half-hour running time is earned, especially in its confident re-creation of artistic certitude: the film knows this man knew what he wanted to create. With Gaspard Ulliel, Jeremie Renier, Louis Garrel, Lea Seydoux, Amira Casar, Helmut Berger, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Dominique Sanda. 150m. (Ray Pride)
“Saint Laurent” opens Friday, May 29. The U. S. trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.