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.