Saint Laurent 2014

Critics score:
52 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Sara Stewart, New York Post: Too long by about an hour, director Bertrand Bonello's portrait of the French designer during his heyday, between 1967 and 1976, saunters as languidly as its subject through nightclubs, business dealings, fittings and drug-fueled bacchanals. Read more

Guy Lodge, Variety: Reflects more of the designer's tortured creative drive in its dark onyx surfaces; it's the slightly deranged auteur portrait that a fellow artist and iconoclast deserves. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: Though it's sometimes abstract to a fault, Saint Laurent captures both the private frustration and the private sense of accomplishment that comes with making art. Read more

Peter Keough, Boston Globe: Bonello takes on the point of view of Saint Laurent himself, exposing a visionary world seen from within that is as strange and wonderful as that of a magnificently stitched garment turned inside out. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: Saint Laurent comes across as a prisoner of his own genius, at once compelling and pathetic. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Repetitive, repulsive, empty while stuffed with cheap ennui and wholly lacking in either insight or inspiration, "Saint Laurent" is absolutely everything you don't want to see in a biographical film. Read more

Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly: The film's overall energy and synth-scored kink is dizzying, especially in scenes of Yves waking up covered in snakes. Read more

Jordan Hoffman, We can never have too many scenes of half-naked beautiful people spaced out in slo-mo to Giorgio Morodor-like music. Read more

Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter: Classily assembled but narratively diffuse. Read more

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times: A mostly jumbled array of biographical swatches. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: A flamboyant but hollow exercise in glitz and pizzazz, Saint Laurent is a riot of colors, hedonism and nonsense. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: The biopic captures a psychology and aesthetic in an exhilarating, sensual, cerebral fashion. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: The movie's best moments have a shivery eroticism and a trancelike intensity. Read more

Ella Taylor, NPR: Never less than a sensual delight. The editing craftily mimics Laurent's style, impeccably cut and full of stealth moves and weird angles that take you by surprise. Read more

Katherine Pushkar, New York Daily News: A shallow, confusing, 2-1/2-hour slog through the life of legendary French designer Yves Saint Laurent. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Shepherding you past security with a flash of a V.I.P. all-access pass, it confers instant insider status made even more alluring by the element of time travel. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: The most exciting part of the film is the designer's famous show of sumptuous Moroccan-inspired gowns, bursting with wild color and verve. It's thrilling to watch the collection brought together ... Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Dreamy and impressionistic, full of debauchery, drugs, disco, and dazzling couture, Saint Laurent is a biopic that picks its moments, leaving backstory behind. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: It captures the tense flavor of a particularly heady time in Saint Laurent's life, during which he struggled with addiction and illness and juggled relationships ... Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Bonello might as well have shown him sleeping eight hours or using the toilet for all that says about the man and his work. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Less a standard biography than a dramatic character study in the shape of a mosaic puzzle, "Saint Laurent" paints a touching and riveting retrospective of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's life and work. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Saint Laurent was a truly mythic figure. It's a shame that Bonello's film doesn't do him justice. Read more

Nathalie Atkinson, Globe and Mail: Watching Bertrand Bonello's new film is less Saint Laurent than The Saint Laurent Experience: It's the biopic as fever dream. Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: Evoking the era through period detail and occasional footage, director Bertrand Bonello has created a cautionary tale about the price of fame and celebrity. Read more

Inkoo Kang, TheWrap: It's the movie equivalent of a row of trophies, all with blank plaques, or a bust of some anonymous Ozymandias - a vision of greatness with all the memorable details sanded off. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: It doesn't help that the characterizations, even of Saint Laurent himself, are often as thin as his models: Women, including Lea Seydoux as muse and friend Loulou, get especially short shrift. Read more

Liz Braun, Toronto Sun: Bonello makes good use of mirrors and reflective surfaces throughout the film, all very fitting for a story about a boy as beautiful and as self-absorbed as Narcissus himself. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: It's rare to see process - the making of anything - dealt with as clearly and poetically as it is in Saint Laurent. It's too bad the movie feels like a confusing, misshapen muslin. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Clinical, exacting, superbly intuitive, Saint Laurent and his associates put painstaking effort into everything from the tension of a seam to the width of a lapel. Read more