This film is a jewel of simplicity, beauty and sensitivity.
Arthur Rimbaud is in the Pantheon of the best French poets, along with Verlaine, Ronsard, Beaudelaire and Lamartine. His talent was as precocious as his temperament was tormented. He was a political idealist and a prodigious poet, until the destruction of La Commune de Paris and the recuperation of Parisian society by bourgeois values lead him to disillusionment, to abandoning poetry altogether and to going into overseas adventures and ultimately, death.
There is no music in this film. It is spiced with Rimbaud's letters and poetry and entirely told by characters who knew him, including Verlaine whose friendship turned into a love that lead to abandon wife, child and bourgeois comfort to follow Rimbaud in London and in ultimate destitution. The pace is unimposing. Each scene is relevant to paint a man teared apart between a domineering but loving mother living in a too quiet country town, and his exalted emotions surging from his unease with existence and society. And for once, the narrative is exact, with no invention added to the plot for dramatization purposes.