Review: CELEBRATION Is A Unique Celebration Of A Fashion Icon’s Career


A fascinating and unusual documentary about the world of fashion, Celebration is captivating because of its artistic approach.
Entertainment Value
Technical Merit

Celebration, directed by Olivier Meryou, is a documentary about fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, though it does not take the form of the typical biography. Rather, it is a captivatingly artistic, frequently experimental, and sometimes bizarre snapshot of the legend in his element.

Rather than providing a broad survey of Laurent’s life, the film focuses specifically on him and his process as he prepares what would become his final show. Laurent’s story is believed to have been one of the chief inspirations for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson as he made his haunting fashion industry drama Phantom Thread, and watching this documentary through that lens is fascinating to say the least.

Unlike most other documentaries focusing on a famous figure, Celebration is not preoccupied with adulation of its subject. Rather, Meryou seems to intend to present Laurent in full honesty, allowing the audience to come to their own decisions regarding his personality and actions. However, the movie does make a point to challenge some of the preconceived notions that audiences may have about fashion professionals such as Laurent.

After the film’s 2007 Berlin debut, Laurent’s business partner Pierre Berge attempted to have the release stopped due to its sometimes less-than-flattering portrayal of Laurent’s mental state at the time.Yet even though the movie does earnestly show the consequences that Laurent’s lifestyle had on his mind over time, the film is still very much a celebration of his life and work, as the title implies.

celebration rack focus

The movie clocks in at less than an hour and fifteen minutes, and thanks to the fact that the film is so unorthodox, it is likely to breeze by. Granted, those who are accustomed to documentaries with a more traditional narrative may find the movie’s verite-like style to be a bit trying, although the film’s unusual nature is part of gives the movie its appeal.

Meryou’s use of sound and music in the film is quite interesting. Much of the soundtrack will creep underneath the skin of the audience with its repetitive use of discomforting noises, heightening the sense of tension despite the seeming lack of significant conflict in the narrative. Meryou also uses other sounds, such as that of bustling, to further build this feeling of urgency.

Visually, the movie is as impressive as one would expect given the film’s focus on fashion. Even beyond beautifully showcasing Laurent’s world-famous designs, the cinematography is phenomenal. One of the most impressive things about the movie is its keen understanding of spatial geography. Thanks to the impressive camerawork, audiences will feel transported into Laurent’s workspace as he prepares for his show.

Although it is understandable to a certain extent why Berge would have initially wanted this portrait of his business partner to be hidden from the public eye, Celebration is actually a great tribute to the genius of Yves Saint Laurent. A beguiling and unique twist on the fashion doc, this is one not to miss.

Celebration hits theaters on October 2.



SHOWTIME® presents the hilarious new comedy series BACK TO LIFE. Miri Matteson is the ultimate Adult Beginner; she’s funny, endearing, awkward and… eager to move on from her unspeakable past. Miri’s back in her hometown fresh from an eighteen-year stint behind bars and trying to nudge her way back into society, but life post prison…

All American | Favorite Scenes – Samantha Logan – Olivia’s Chip | The CW

Stream new episodes of All American Tuesdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About All American: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds - Crenshaw and Beverly Hills -…

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Episode 1 Breakdown | Prime Video

Long Story Short: in case you still don’t know what makes Midge so marvelous here’s a recap of the first episode. Spoilers ahead! » Watch The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel now exclusively with your Prime Membership: » SUBSCRIBE: About Long Story Short: Do you love Amazon Original series but you're kind of in a hurry?…

Supergirl | Season 5 Episode 3 | Blurred Lines Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Supergirl Mondays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERGIRL: SUPERGIRL is based on the DC character Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, who after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant…

Nancy Drew | Time Dies | Season Trailer | The CW

Stream new episodes of Nancy Drew Thursdays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails Nancy’s college plans. Connect…

Travis Scott Surprises Fans at Pop Up | Crashers | Netflix

Travis Scott crashed in on fans at his Look Mom I Can Fly VHS Pop Up and surprised fans with a signing! Watch Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries…

The Working Dead Volume 2: Props

Showrunner Angela Kang shares how the bloody sign Maggie uses to behead a walker in Season 2 ended up in the TWD offices. The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 6 at 9/8c on AMC. Watch more from The Walking Dead: Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #WalkingDead #TheWalkingDead THE WALKING DEAD: Like…

INTERVIEW: Erica Rice And Getting Tacky Just Right For Between Two Ferns: The Movie

Now on Netflix is Between Two Ferns: The Movie, starring Galifianakis and costume designer Erica Rice has plenty to say about what it takes to make the oddball style of all these characters look right.
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here