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Total Eclipse

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Original title
Total Eclipse
Running time
110 min.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Christopher Hampton
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Giorgos Arvanitis
Co-production United Kingdom-France-Belgium; Fit Productions, Portman Productions, Société Française de Production, K2 SA, Capitol Films, Canal+, Eurimages
Drama. Romance | Gay & Lesbian. 19th Century
Synopsis / Plot
Director Agnieszka Holland presents this probing period piece that examines the nihilistic relationship between bad-boy French poet Arthur Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio) and writer Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis). After Rimbaud sends Verlaine a series of poems, Verlaine summons him to Paris. Arriving at the home of his wife Mathilde’s (Romane Bohringer) family, Verlaine is shocked to discover that Rimbaud is only 16 years old. Worse, he is a crude, obnoxious rabble-rouser who seems intent on making everyone’s life miserable. Nonetheless, Verlaine falls in love with him, sparking a tumultuous relationship between the two that threatens Verlaine’s marriage. As the poets travel to Brussels together, Rimbaud taunts Verlaine relentlessly, taking a toll on both, straining their relationship even further. As the troubled writers, DiCaprio and Thewlis deliver extremely powerful, unguarded performances, providing the film great emotional depth, resulting in a work of biographical fiction that will remind viewers of both men’s literary importance.
1995: San Sebastián Film Festival: Nominated for Golden Seashell
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