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Sunday, February 21, 2016

YVES SAINT LAURENT (2014)

You couldn’t call this bio-pic on the fashion icon useless; it could, serve as warning for any films in development on Andy Warhol or Michael Jackson, non? In over his head from the start, director Jalil Lespert goes thru the motions of charting high (and low) lights in the life of the famous, and famously troubled, designer, assisted (if that’s the word), now & then, with tagline narration from life & business partner Pierre Bergé. Pierre Niney & Guillaume Gallienne do what amounts to party turns as the couple: one acting out with the occasional female overnighter; the other diving into drugs & boy-toys. Once in a while, Yves boldly tucks a piece of fabric into a boring dress and . . . voilà, haute couture! When all else fails, season with a trio of arias from Maria Callas. Serving cocktails?: Libiamo from TRAVIATA; Suffering for your art?: Vissi d’arte from TOSCA; Fashion Show soundtrack?: the aria from LA WALLY they used in DIVA/’81. No cliché left unattended. YSL wouldn’t have let this leave the atelier.

ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: Yet another commercial nonstarter for those Weinstein boys. Can anyone explain how they do it? Back in MIRAMAX days, finances were like the proverbial shark: keep moving forward or die. Today the Weinstein Company is more like a cinematic Ponzi scheme. One that Quentin Tarantino’s underperforming HATEFUL EIGHT may not be able to shore up.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Get a real haute couture fashion fix (plus Astaire, Hepburn, Thompson & Gershwin) in Stanley Donen’s miraculously right FUNNY FACE/’57. Think Pink!

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