Total Eclipse (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Total Eclipse (1995)

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Movie Info

This historical drama, directed by Agnieszka Holland, focuses on the rocky relationship between the renowned 19th century French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a teenage wunderkind known for his rebelliousness against conventional society and his surrealistic writing. He disrupts the life of Verlaine (David Thewlis), a more conventional writer who is older and married to a dutiful young wife, Mathilde (Romane Bohringer). The drunken Verlaine is unkind to Mathilde, even though her father is providing him with a house and an income to live on while he pursues his writing. Rimbaud overwhelms Verlaine, mocking his conventionality, constantly disrupting his domestic life, and somehow attracting the maniacal love of the older man.

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Cast

Leonardo DiCaprio
as Arthur Rimbaud
David Thewlis
as Paul Verlaine
Romane Bohringer
as Mathilde Verlaine
James Thieree
as Frederic
Denise Chalem
as Mrs. Maute De Fleurville
Andrzej Seweryn
as Mr. Maute De Fleurville
Christopher Chaplin
as Charles Cros
Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye
as Isabelle as a Child
Nita Klein
as Rimbaud's Mother
Kettly Noël
as Somalian Woman
Cheb Han
as Djami
Dominique Blanc
as Isabelle Rimbaud
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Critic Reviews for Total Eclipse

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

A misguided project from Holland: Watching Verlaine and Rimbeau engage in endless arguments about the nature of love, you wonder when they had time to create the poetry that revolutionized the world.

January 9, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…
EmanuelLevy.Com

Fascinating biopic marred by Di Caprio's performance.

February 18, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Despite its fascinating subject matter, Total Eclipse is both unflattering and loveless.

July 31, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Slant Magazine

a noble effort to capture Rimbaud's genius, but it fails to take enough risks to get close to the enigmatic poet.

October 11, 2002 | Rating: C | Full Review…
Old School Reviews

A disappointing biography about the homosexual relationship of two famous 19th century French poets.

February 13, 2001 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The Rimbaud seen here is less a poet warrior than cloying brat.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 50/100
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Total Eclipse

Opening credits go on way too long, there is some vacany in the story's execution and the film also slips to some other lows. Still, DiCaprio is, get this, phenomenal. I know, czazy isn't it? He is also hilarious comic relief, which really is shocking when you consider how serious of an actor he is, Academy. There are also some other great performances, good lines for DiCaprio, I hate to admit it, but excellent chemistry between Thewlis and DiCaprio and other high points that could have made it a much more solid film, had the story been delivered better. Still, it is an interesting film that's fairly worth checking out.

Cameron Johnson
Cameron Johnson

Super Reviewer

A young Leonardo...already an outstanding actor. He absolutely stole this film as his own even at such a young age. I love period dramas, and biographical dramas, so this movie was just perfect for me. Leo portrays a supposedly true-to-life strange and crazy poet in this movie. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job than he did. Very interesting film.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

David Thewlis is such a horrible actor that it destroyed this movie. This was a great performance for Leonardo DiCaprio and I feel his portrayal was the only interesting thing about the movie. Even with getting to see Leonardo naked a few times... I still cannot recommend the movie. Seeing Leonardo shine as an actor may only be because of the poor acting of co-stars!

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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