The intensity of creative control held by Pierre Bergé basically guaranteed that he, as the partner of the late Yves Saint Laurent, would love the film, “Yves Saint Laurent.” Directed by Jalil Lespert, the film stars Pierre Niney as Saint Laurent and Guillaume Gallienne as Bergé.
In the all-consuming film based off Laurence Benaïm’s biography of Saint Laurent and Bergé’s “Letters to Yves” book, viewers are taken from the iconic designer’s days as head of Christian Dior to the height of his career at his eponymous fashion house. All the lows are documented as well, which Bergé appreciated.
“The movie doesn’t take sides,” he said about the depiction of Saint Laurent’s alcoholism, drug addiction and arguments with him. “It reflects a truth: All men have a dark side and a light side. My life with Yves Saint Laurent was no fairy tale. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
In addition to lending his thoughts on the characters, Bergé also lent the director 77 original vintage gowns from his foundation. He also allowed certain scenes to be filmed at Saint Laurent’s design studio and headquarters on Avenue Marceau in Paris.
All the effort is a far cry from the disapproval Bergé has given to the rival Bertrand Bonello film adaptation of Saint Laurent’s life story. According to WWD, Bergé will sue if the rival production features any unauthorized reproductions of Saint Laurent dresses or sketches.
“I am blown away by Pierre Niney’s performance,” he said about the film that premiered on Wednesday in France. “It really disconcerted me, it even upset me, because it’s very difficult. At times, I thought it was Yves Saint Laurent himself. That’s huge.”
Judge for yourself by watching the trailer, below.