Saint Laurent

French writer-director Bertrand Bonello is a master at setting a mood and evoking how events play out in memory, though his willful detachment from his subjects makes him an acquired taste. This unconventional biopic (2014) focuses on the most celebrated years of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent—the late 1960s through the mid-1970s—but plays freely with chronology; in the second half Bonello flashes forward randomly to Saint Laurent’s later years, when the famed designer (played in these passages by Helmut Berger) had become a creepy recluse. Like Bonello’s House of Pleasures (2011), this takes place mainly in confined interiors and divulges tantalizingly little about how the characters relate to the outside world. Saint Laurent comes across as a prisoner of his own genius, at once comelling and pathetic. The impressive cast includes Gaspard Ulliel (as young Saint Laurent), Jérémie Renier, and Léa Seydoux. In English and subtitled French.