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Rush gives a tour-de-force performance as history's most infamous sexual adventurer, the Marquis de Sade. A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid (Winslet) smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest (Phoenix). The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, until a fiercely conservative doctor (Caine) tries to put an end to the fun, inadvertently stoking the excitement to a fever pitch.
- 3 Featurettes: "Marquis on Marquee," "Creating Charenton," "Dressing the Part"
- Commentary by Screenwriter Doug Wright
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I highly recommends this slightly twisted look at de Sade's impulses and motivations as a writer.
This film, however, is more of a dramatization of Marquis de Sade's life in prison. If you are looking for something REAL accurate, I'd stay away from this one. But as a film that is dramatized, it's actually quite entertaining and pretty good. Geoffrey Rush plays marvelously as Marquis de Sade in this dramatized adaption. And I say dramatize because this is what the film does. They did add drastic things such as the way he died and even something as small as his physique in his later years in his life. But if you are able to put that aside and actually try to enjoy a "Hollywood" version of Marquis de Sade, it's actually watchable. I would not call this film BRILLIANT, but it definitely is worth a watch. And again I emphasize "HOLLYWOOD" because you will not see anything philosophical or deep like an art film, but rather more of a period piece for pure entertainment. "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom" by Pier Paolo Pasolini is a better example of an "art film" relating him and his writing. So if you are gearing more towards that, I highly suggest you check out Salo by Pasolini.
Quills on the other hand is an exaggerated biopic of de Sade, but fairly fun to watch. And for a HOLLYWOOD film, this wasn't as atrocious as I thought it was going to be. I saw the cast and crew and I wasn't really excited who's in it, besides Geoffrey Rush, but this is not a bad take on de Sade's life. Like I said, this film is purely for entertainment. So keep that in mind before you watch this film for any Marquis de Sade fans out there who are hesitant to watch this film.
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