Total Eclipse

"Bad"

Total Eclipse Review


Picture this: A movie about two 19th century French poets. How does that sound? It sounds like a bad idea because it is a bad idea.

It's a worse idea than the talent in this picture would probably care to admit to. Leonardo Dicaprio stars in yet another true-story-about-poets movie this year, following up his excellent portrayal of teenage wacko Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries with one of even more wacko teenager Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse. David Thewlis (Naked) is Paul Verlaine, a slightly older poet who becomes entranced with Rimbaud, who returns his affections with little more than scorn and physical abuse. Verlaine in turn passes this abuse on to his pregnant wife, Mathilde (Romane Bohringer).

Verlaine tries to get inside Rimbaud's skin, ostensibly to make himself a better poet, and the film spends inordinate amounts of time following their misadventures: Verlaine and Rimbaud crash a party; Verlaine and Rimbaud frolic in a field; Verlaine and Rimbaud frolic on the street; Verlaine and Rimbaud frolic on a beach. Are you still awake?

Rimbaud ends up converting Verlaine from a mild-mannered gentleman into a certifiable nut bar. And for some reason, they keep stabbing and shooting each other when they aren't drinking absinthe to excess. In the end, the movie is a nearly unwatchable look at a couple of people who we don't understand any better by the time the film is over. In other words: a complete waste of time.

It wouldn't have been so bad if there was a speck of likeability in any of these characters, but they are so disgusting and crass, I just wanted to leave the theater halfway through. But I didn't. Instead, I stuck it out to see if some big payoff awaited me for wading through the 110 minutes of boredom, but alas there was none. I was afraid the movie was never going to end with its drawn-out, weepy, melodramatic finale. Boo hoo.

Director Agnieszka Holland has a bad habit of making either really good movies (Europa, Europa) or really bad ones (Olivier, Olivier). Total Eclipse is her worst, with the stylistic direction earning the film its 1/2 star. That's being generous.



Total Eclipse

Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd November 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $339.9 thousand

Distributed by: New Line Home Entertainment

Production compaines: FIT Productions, Portman Productions, Société Française de Production (SFP)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Arthur Rimbaud, as Paul Verlaine, as Mathilde Maute, as Isabelle Rimbaud, Nita Klein as Rimbaud's Mother, Felicie Pasotti Cabarbaye as Isabelle, as a child, James Thiérrée as Frederic, Emmanuelle Oppo as Vitalie, as The Judge, Denise Chalem as Mrs. Maute De Fleurville, Andrzej Seweryn as Mr. Maute De Fleurville, as Carjat, Bruce Van Barthold as Aicard, Christopher Chaplin as Charles Cros, Mathias Jung as André, Kettly Noel as Somalian Woman, Cheb Han as Djami

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.