Les Enfants Du Siecle review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Even Juliette Binoche can't rescue this conventional and visually uninspired romantic drama, which charts the turbulent love affair between two of the key literary figures in 1830s France, the cross-dressing female novelist George Sand (Binoche) and the poet and playwright Alfred de Musset (Sean Penn-lookalike Benoît Magimel).

Having met at a salon reading, the two embark on a passionate relationship, to the disapproval of de Musset's family. They then head for Venice, only for Alfred's dissolute lifestyle - - whoring, drinking, gambling and drug-taking - - to trigger increasingly acrimonious rows with George.

French director and co-writer Diane Kurys serves up some familiar clichés about tortured writers with dialogue such as: "You have to live badly to write well." It's regrettable that little attention is paid to their work, or to the wider society in which they existed.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.