When DiCaprio Played Gay

One of the least-known pictures of this Sunday’s Oscar winner for Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, is “Total Eclipse,” released in 1995. It was directed by Agnieszka Holland, based on a 1967 play by Christopher Hampton, who also wrote the screenplay. Based on letters and poems, it presents a historically accurate account of the passionate and violent relationship between the 19th-century French poets Verlaine (played by David Thewlis) and Rimbaud (Dicaprio). For a time, it was difficult to track down a copy of this movie, but it’s now available on Amazon and the movie in its entirety is on YouTube — in Spanish. DiCaprio, who had already showed his precocious talent in “Gilbert Grape,” gives a passionate performance. He buggers Thewlis with ferocity.

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