starring Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel, Helmut Berger
screenplay by Bertrand Bonello and Thomas Bidegain
directed by Bertrand Bonello
by Angelo Muredda Bertrand Bonello enters the postmodern biopic sweepstakes with Saint Laurent, no less than the third chronicle of the titular French designer and haute couture icon in as many years. With regrets to Pierre Thoretton's understated but chilly L'amour fou, which comes at its subject through the reminiscences of his lifelong professional and personal partner Pierre Berge, Bonello's project is almost certainly the most fetching (thanks in no small part to costume designer Anais Romand), marrying a contemporary fixation on the limits of biographical storytelling with the sort of impressionist brushstrokes the Matisse devotee might have appreciated. In the wake of filmmakers as disparate as Todd Haynes and Abel Ferrara self-consciously toying with the limits of the biopic form, ostensibly killing dynamic subjects by pinning them to the wall, Saint Laurent isn't as radical a work of genre subversion as some of its adherents claim, but it sure as hell is beautiful, channelling its subject's hedonist spirit and delicate aesthetic sensibility in roughly equal measure.