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Total Eclipse
Total Eclipse
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, David Thewlis, Romane Bohringer, Dominique Blanc, Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Genres: Drama
R     1999     1hr 51min

The true story of one mans search for the ultimate poem another mans search for the ultimate soulmate and the brilliant soulmate and the brilliant madness they find together. Special features: theatrical trailer cast and c...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, David Thewlis, Romane Bohringer, Dominique Blanc, Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: New Line Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/21/1999
Original Release Date: 11/03/1995
Theatrical Release Date: 11/03/1995
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Averi K. (leolover) from ALACHUA, FL
Reviewed on 4/19/2011...
Ok so i am a HUGE leonardo dicaprio fan. But really this was sooo bad. Its really disterbing watch him kiss a guy. This is by far leo's WORST movie. I really hate how it ends too. Whoever likes this movie i can relate to because the acting was good but them both being gay was bad ;/ But i did hear that leo is going to play j egar hoover coming out in 2012 he will kiss a guy but the story sounds good.
1 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Richard B. from COLORADO SPGS, CO
Reviewed on 1/13/2011...
This movie is terrible. I am almost done with watching it right now and every moment I am fighting turning it off.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Pseudo Art
Carlos Rodriguez | 07/22/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Goodness! The way people were speaking about this film, I thought it would be one of those deep, dark, poetic, pathbreaking epics that you come across once in a lifetime. Sadly, it isn't even a half-way decent film, with disappointing performances from both DiCaprio and Thewlis. The direction is shoddy, and the 'dark' sides of the leads aren't very well explored. At times, the pace is lethargic, and even DiCaprio's stunning beauty isn't enough to lift this movie out of its depression.No doubt the director has approached the subject with a lot of heart. Indeed, the doomed love affair between Verlaine and Rimabaud is intriguing even in this day and age. It must be said that for a film of this sort to work, the chemistry between the lead actors is vital. On this level, thankfully, the film is an absolute success. Few same-sex couples on screen have exhibited the chemistry that Leo and David seem to share. Every scene between them sparkles with electricity, and their falling in love is authentically captured.This however, is not at all sufficient for 'Total Eclipse' to work. Theres something amiss, and its difficult to say exactly what. Perhaps its the weak script and the misplaced soundtrack. Personally, I found that the director's attempts to age DiCaprio thoroughly hilarious. In these scenes, Caprio (who was 20 at the time) looks like a schoolboy playing Lincoln, and the fake moustache is just too much. Leo is one of those actors who seem destined to remain boyish-looking (like Michael J Fox), and these scenes serve to reiterate that belief.The film tries to stick to history and facts, but there are sequences that do make you wonder. That apart, the most powerful thing about this movie is the fascinating on-screen chemistry between DiCaprio and Thewlis, though individually, their performances are bland and lacklustre. Its also the film where DiCaprio is at his beautiful best, his almost androgynous frailty is totally bewitching. The sex scenes between the duo make for some compelling viewing. There are two prime love scenes here - the first features the couple's first kiss, and Leonardo DiCaprio's only onscreen gay smooch. It also features footage of Leo completely nude, thats found its way to numerous sites on the Web. However, far from being 'erotic' these scenes are handled with such sensitivity, seldom seen in other films of the genre. The other love scene is already rather notorious among Leo fans, featuring DiCaprio making love, and I really mean making love, to David Thewlis. This scene is mesmerising in its brutality, as Leo plays a top to David Thewlis' passive bottom. Its also compelling to watch how Leo is thoroughly convincing as a gay guy enjoying gay sex - many straight actors engaging in this sort of loveplay on screen have appeared stilted, but this man is incomparable. If theres any reason why you should buy 'Total Eclipse', this is it. Gay fans will note that this is the only recorded instance of Leo engaging in explicit sex, though newer releases of the film see a trimmed down version of the scene.However, Leo's portrayal of a disturbed poet is unconvincing. His limitations as an actor have been exposed in later films such as 'The Beach', but over here, he appears to be lost. Theres also too much blood and sado-masochism going on, and Leo lacks the experience or talent to pull these sequences off, though Thewlis manages this better. And while the couple look totally in love and besotted with each other, they aren't able to translate this attraction into equally impressive performances.On the whole, the director has tried to handle a sensitive subject with grace, and believe me, she does succeed. But as a film in its entirety, 'Total Eclipse' falters. This could have been a remarkable movie had the director put Leo and David's superb coupling to good use, but she doesnt. Rather, she resorts to some weak one-liners, pensive close-ups and bits of hot sensuality to retain the viewers interest. For all that, I must confess, that despite its weaknesses (and there are so many!) I have found myself watching this film time and again - is that a sign of a film being good? I suppose different viewers have had different reactions to this film. To me, this is a film with great heart, but with far too many holes to rave about. If you haven't seen it, then do so! For all its flaws, 'Total Eclipse' is essential viewing. Recommended for audiences with an interest in deviant French history."
Fantastic, Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant
Carlos Rodriguez | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great movie and is by far Leonardo DiCaprio best performance yet. He should of won an Oscar for his harrowing portrayal of 19th Century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud was a literary genius at the age of 16, who wrote wonderful and obscure poems about sex and death among other topics.His intense and volatile relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine was often times disturbing and mad. Verlaine had trouble accepting the fact that his friend, confidant and lover was extremely gifted and more successful than he ever was.Arthur Rimbaud was a merciful and shrewed young man who found pleasure in getting his way all the time and making other people look ridicule (especially the ones he did not like). Verlaine's young wife could not tolerate him and blamed him for making her husband abandon her for long periods of time. Verlaine would always come back to his wife but found Rimbaud so irresistable that he always ended up doing what he wanted and would succumb to his every need be it emotional or sexual. Arthur always knew had to get Paul wrapped up around his finger and got him to do whatever he wanted atleast most of the time.This film is highlated by great performances from the entire cast and once again it is DiCaprio's remarkable performance that makes this film extremely interesting to watch. I don't think this movie is for everyone especially the ones that only think that a good movie is not good unless someone or something gets blown off. DiCaprio's character goes thru many changes in his appearance especially when he is dying of a terrible disease (I'm sorry but I can't seem to remember which one) his character is both physical and emotional and he plays it with incredible strength and emotion.If you are a serious movie collector this is a "must have" for your collection. I love everything about this film and is one of my favorite movies ever. I gave it a 5 star rating because that as high as it goes but I would give a 10 rating because it has all the ingredients a great movie suppose to have. Watch this movie and it will leave you breathless. Superb and beautiful all the way through."
Total Eclipse
Malcolm Lawrence | 02/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My original captivation with this film has been tempered now that I've seen it a second time. But what I originally enjoyed and also originally disliked the first time around were both confirmed when I saw it again: My initial delight was due to the fact that the portrayal of Arthur Rimbaud is as close to capturing the inner workings of the mind of an artist as any I've seen, particularly in the way that he demonstrates a very logical resistance to Paul Verlaine's amorphously fawning "love" that he offers Rimbaud. "Love doesn't exist," Rimbaud boldly proclaims. "Self-interest exists. Attachment based on personal gain exists. Complacency exists. But not love. It has to be re-invented." And reinvented it is in this portrayal of two male artists whose relationship originates out of a sort of intellectual centrifugal force. Each of them recognize the monumental talent in the other and even though they pursue the bond they share to the inevitable sexual conclusion, the word "homosexual" never really occurred to me while I was watching the film, primarily because their relationship demonstrates their symbiotic need for each other intellectually first and foremost, quite separate from their sexual needs, which never stoops to the sophomoric level of "which one is the man? which one is the woman?" designation of gender roles. One must remember, and the film explicitly points out, that although this tale is only a hundred years old, the punishment for being homosexual back then was enough to send you to prison for two years.Even though I've seen this film twice in ten days, something still needles me about the casting of DiCaprio as Rimbaud. This is the first film I've seen DiCaprio in, and I'm really starting to like him, and David Thewlis, as Verlaine, I've been raving about since his blistering performance in Mike Leigh's Naked two years ago. Perhaps it's simply my expectations. Since these two giants of poetry are strictly the stuff of history now, one can't tell how on the money their characterizations are, and they ARE able to illustrate the spirits they each had remarkably. DiCaprio's performance as Rimbaud is exact in his reading of a self-appointed genius who very convincingly illustrates the alchemical origin for any true artist: that of having a scorched earth policy, of reinventing the world on one's own terms and of realizing one needs to have the strongest of convictions about one's self and one's abilities to "originate the future" regardless of what even other artists feel about you. "Poets should learn from each other," Verlaine admonishes Rimbaud when they first meet. "Only if they're bad poets," Rimbaud shoots back. And in that refutation of what an artist "should be" is the key to why Verlaine ends up obliviously destroying not only the bourgeois life he's tried carefully to fit into to, but also the lives of those around him: By clinging to Rimbaud as a moth to light, Verlaine begins to feel an acute amount of nostalgia for his own beginnings as a major poet and desperately tries to recapture that contagious spirit of capriciousness which blooms when one's hormones are exploding and you feel invincible that Rimbaud represents to Verlaine. Verlaine, ten years older than Rimbaud, met him at a time when his fear of death had prompted him to marry a girl (six years his junior who was nowhere near his intellectual level) so he could father a child, who did turn out to be a son. Romane Bohringer, as Verlaine's long-suffering wife Mathilde, is a great casting choice because although she may not have been on the same intellectual level as her husband, she was a perfectly fine person in her own right: healthy, joyous, buxom, devoted, willing to take Verlaine back countless times. Therefore, her faith in her husband underlines just how much it was Verlaine's choice and his choice alone to decide whether he should go gallivanting around Europe with Rimbaud, or stay with his wife and help father their child. Rimbaud even tries to convince Verlaine to do the right thing and stay with his family at one point. Rimbaud's motivations seem to flutter between his desire for an intellectual equal and his need for monetary support, which, of course means Verlaine's wife because it was HE who married money, not her.My reservations about this film are primarily because it doesn't deal with the actual poetry of the men enough. I would have loved to have heard the voice-overs of them both during the scenes where they cavort among the goats on a hillside, or as they climb around the crags of the Black Forest, and when Rimbaud mentions to Verlaine that "the writing has changed me" it would have done more of a service to the audience to let them know WHY he was having his sister burn his earlier poems. The photography, as I've come to expect from director Agnieszka Holland (The Secret Garden; Olivier, Olivier; Europa, Europa) is stunning, particularly the shots of Charleville, where Rimbaud's family lives on a farm. Holland loves blood, but not as though you'd know it: the few instances where you see blood in this film it's used strictly as punctuation for the symmetrical balance of their cruelty for each other, or else it's photographed just to show what the concept of flow mechanics can do to red on white. I'm glad the film chose to not end with the severing of their relationship, but to follow Rimbaud to Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and to the end of his life, to fully illustrate that his was a spirit who was forever seeking the outer edges of experience. He lived more in his 37 years on this planet than most people do in thrice that amount and history and posterity has shown time and again that not only were his instincts correct, but they continue to be felt a hundred years later. SIDEBARFrom director Agnieszka Holland (The Secret Garden; Olivier, Olivier; Europa, Europa) and writer Christopher Hampton (Carrington, Dangerous Liaisons) comes Total Eclipse, the true story of the great 19thth century French poets, Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. David Thewlis (winner of the Best Actor Award from both the Cannes Film Festival and New York Film Critics Circle for his astounding performance in Mike Leigh's Naked) stars as Verlaine, a volatile alcoholic torn between his lovely yet conventional wife and the seductive, dangerous and brilliant Rimbaud. Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (the talented star of What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries) portrays the wild, young Rimbaud, a poet whose life and work was fueled by an insatiable hunger for intense experience, unbounded by rules or consequences. Rimbaud's was a revolutionary vision that has inspired rebel artists ever since, from Jack Kerouac to Jim Morrison. Romane Bohringer (the Cesar winning actress of Savage Nights and The Accompanist) plays Verlaine's loving wife Mathilde, who finds her husband magnetized by the intoxicating lure of Rimbaud. Ultimately, as described by director Agnieszka Holland, Total Eclipse is a story about love. Verlaine is drawn to Rimbaud because he finds him totally, powerfully exceptional. And in Verlaine, Rimbaud thinks he has found the companion to share his search of the absolute. Audacious, demanding and provocative, Total Eclipse is the story of a volatile romantic triangle and the lives it consumes. Like Amadeus, it illustrates the easy cruelty of young genius and the constantly warring creative and destructive forces that exist within the artist. Although the film is set in the 1870's, it is profoundly contemporary, partly because of the diverse personalities of the cast and its universal depiction of romantic and creative obsession. Says Holland, "Poets than were not the insignificant civil servants of literature that they are today. They reinvented their existence moment by moment, using their creativity. Verlaine and Rimbaud were in fact very different but both thought they could find everything, try everything, with no limits or boundaries."Screenwriter Christopher Hampton, a Rimbaud scholar at Oxford who adapted Total Eclipse from one of his earliest plays, found the story to be a "means of posing a number of questions around a central puzzle, namely, what does it mean to be a writer? What could one reasonably hope to achieve? What were the pleasures and torments and what, if any, the responsibilities? Might one change the world, or would it prove beyond one's abilities even to change oneself?"For both David Thewlis and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film was a risky, daring choice. Comments DiCaprio, "The role of Rimbaud is one of the most important of my career and one of the best roles to play for a young actor. Rimbaud wanted to change the world from one day to the next. He was someone courageous, who didn't worry about the consequences of his actions. I live my life thinking of the consequences. Shooting this film, I learned not to worry about what the others thought of what I was doing. It wasn't easy, but it changed me."David Thewlis, who shot to prominence playing another difficult, tro"