6.6/10
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80 user 23 critic

Total Eclipse (1995)

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Young, wild poet Arthur Rimbaud and his mentor Paul Verlaine engage in a fierce, forbidden romance while feeling the effects of a hellish artistic lifestyle.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writer:

Christopher Hampton (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Arthur Rimbaud
David Thewlis ... Paul Verlaine
Romane Bohringer ... Mathilde Maute
Dominique Blanc ... Isabelle Rimbaud
Félicie Pasotti Félicie Pasotti ... Isabelle, as a child (as Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye)
Nita Klein Nita Klein ... Rimbaud's Mother
James Thierrée James Thierrée ... Frederic (as James Thiérrée)
Emmanuelle Oppo Emmanuelle Oppo ... Vitalie
Denise Chalem Denise Chalem ... Mrs. Maute De Fleurville
Andrzej Seweryn ... Mr. Maute De Fleurville
Christopher Thompson Christopher Thompson ... Carjat
Bruce Van Barthold ... Aicard
Christopher Chaplin ... Charles Cros
Christopher Hampton ... The Judge
Mathias Jung Mathias Jung ... Andre
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Storyline

In 1871, Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), an established poet, invites boy genius Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) to live with Paul and his young pregnant wife, Mathiltde, in her father's home in Paris. Rimbaud's uncouth behavior disrupts the household as well as the insular society of French poets, but Verlaine finds the youth invigorating. Stewed in absinthe and resentment, Verlaine abuses Mathiltde; he and Rimbaud become lovers and abandon her. There are reconciliations and partings with Mathiltde and partings and reconciliations with Rimbaud, until an 1873 incident with a pistol sends one of them to prison. Codas dramatize the poets' final meeting and last illnesses. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Impassioned by genius. Inflamed by desire. Imprisoned by love. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, language, and some startling violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features

Country:

UK | France | Belgium

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fuego y la sombra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$339,889
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Volker Schlöndorff was originally attached to direct. See more »

Goofs

In the Café Andre where the adult Isabelle Rimbaud meets with Paul Verlaine, the typeface on the window is clearly in Helvetica, a typeface that was not created until 1954. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul Verlaine: Sometimes he speaks in a kind of tender dialect of the death which causes repentence, of the unhappy men who certainly exist, of painful tasks and heartrending departures. In the hovels where we got drunk he wept looking at those who surrounded us, the cattle of poverty. He lifted up drunks in the black streets. He had the pity a bad mother has for small children. He moved with the grace of a little girl at catechism. He pretended to know about everything, business, art, medicine. ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Na plovárne: Na plovárne s Agnieszkou Holland (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Memory
Written by T.S. Eliot
Composed by Trevor Nunn and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Arranged by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Performed by Warsaw Symphony Orchestra and Wilanow String Quartet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A literal literary must see dramatization...
4 September 2004 | by joefiglerskiSee all my reviews

There will be those who watch this film for DiCaprio, which is fine, then there will be those who watch this for the fact that it's about a French Poet, Rimbaud. The former is most likely the more probable, unfortunately, thus the rating of 5.7 at the time I'm writing this review, 4, September, 2004. Rimbaud was a poet who came to fame early on. Born in 1854, Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud was one of four other siblings, a brother and three sisters, however, two of the three sisters passed. By fourteen, he was "winning nearly every academic competition he entered and by fifteen, had his first poem published in a literary review" (Mason, 2003). The police took interest in him as he was a trouble maker.

Some of his more famous writings, "A Season in Hell," "A Drunken Boat," and "First Night," are what he accomplished before giving up on writing at an equally young age, eighteen! Because he was so young, and maintained such excellence, he's been likened to similar prodigies such as Mozart, and Picasso. His is a work of certain genius which we can peer into - via this short dramatic biography - if we allow ourselves to pay close enough attention. I recommend this movie to any scholar, anyone interested in poetry/writing, anyone interested in prodigies, artists (or their madd, sometimes megalomania temperament), or depressives. Overall, it was good, it sparked remembrances of Robin Williams in "Dead Poet's Society" (1989), Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sylvia" (2003), and Sean Connery in "Finding Forrester" (2000). All are great writing flicks about love, loss, overcoming the human condition, or being ruined by it.


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