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The Incredible “Saint Laurent” And 12 Other Must-See Biopics


Saint Laurent, the critically-acclaimed biopic about famed fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, is in theaters now. The film takes a look at the formative, groundbreaking years of Saint Laurent’s career — from his days apprenticing with Christian Dior, who chose the 21-year old as his successor, to his radical designs of the ’60s and the heady heydays of the ’70s.

Related Post: Some Like It Haute: 16 Iconic Yves Saint Laurent Fashions

At the center is a wonderful performance by Gaspard Ulliel as the brilliant, enigmatic designer. Like all great biopics, Saint Laurent brings its subject to life while telling a compelling story about the man who both reflected and moved forward, through the styles he created, the sexual revolution.

Below, 13 unique biopics you need to binge-watch immediately.

1. Ed Wood (1994)


Johnny Depp stars as the worst director of all time and noted transvestite Ed Wood in Tim Burton’s homage to Wood and his B-flick classics, including the notorious Plan 9 from Outer Space.

2. Before Night Falls (2000)


Depp has a cameo — this time also in drag (sense a trend?) — but the film really belongs to Javier Bardem, who earned an Oscar nomination as Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas. Julian Schanbel’s film was adapted from Arenas’ autobiography of the same name detailing his arduous years in Cuba and eventual escape to America.

3. American Splendor (2003)


Based off Harvey Pekar’s comic, American Splendor blended fiction and reality, featuring cameos from Pekar himself discussing what it was like to be portrayed by Paul Giamatti.

4. Capote (2005)


The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar as Southern writer and social gadfly Truman Capote in this film that follows his investigations into what would become one of his most acclaimed works, In Cold Blood.

5. I’m Not There (2007)


Todd Haynes utilized six different actors to portray the legendary Bob Dylan, including Richard Gere, Christian Bale and (in one of his final roles) Heath Ledger. But it was Cate Blanchett who scored an Oscar nomination, though in the Best Supporting Actress category.

6. Milk (2008)


Sean Penn is remarkable as the first openly gay politician elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk, in Gus Van Sant’s loving tribute to the fallen icon, co-starring James Franco.

7. I Love You, Phillip Morris (2009)


In a story so crazy it has to be true, Jim Carrey is at his best as Steven Jay Russell — an ingenious con man who breaks out of jail four times to be with the man he loves, the titular Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor).

8. Julie and Julia (2009)


As if we didn’t know Meryl Streep could do anything, she embodies the iconic chef Julia Child in what could have (and perhaps should have) been a straightforward biopic, but there’s a needless subplot about a modern day woman cooking her way through Julia’s cookbook that even the always great Amy Adams can’t save.

9. Bernie (2011)


Jack Black was robbed of all the awards as Bernhardt “Bernie” Tiede, a beloved small town man who remained so even after killing his 81-year-old harridan companion (Shirley MacLaine). In a strange twist of events, the film eventually led to the real Bernie Tiede’s release from jail.

10. My Week with Marilyn (2011)


Despite not bearing much of a resemblance, Michelle Williams manages to suck you in with her performance as screen goddess Marilyn Monroe in this film chronicling a young assistant (Eddie Redmayne) as he escorts Monroe around during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.

11. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013)


Starring apparently everyone in Hollywood as historical figures— from Robin Williams as Eisenhower to  Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan — but Oprah Winfrey runs away with the entire movie as the wife of White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). Lee Daniels’ epic film takes more than a few liberties with history, though the story was inspired by real life White House butler Eugene Allen.

12. Kill Your Darlings (2013)


Initially receiving buzz for its “shocking” gay love scenes, John Krokidas’ directorial debut follows some of the key members of the Beat Generation during their college years, with Daniel Radcliffe starring as Allen Ginsberg.

13. Saint Laurent (2014)

saint laurent

Co-written and directed by Bertrand Bonello, this lush biopic focuses on Yves Saint Laurent’s most productive and prodigious years as one of the most important designers of the 20th century. Debuting at Cannes where it competed for the Palm D’Or, Saint Laurent also stars Jérémie Renier as Pierre Berges, Saint Laurent’s business and life partner and Lea Seydoux as perennial YSL muse Loulou de la Falaise.