Quills [2000]

With bedroom eyes and the mischievous smirk of an insatiable roué, Geoffrey Rush is a perfect choice to play the Marquis de Sade in Quills, directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted by Doug Wright from his own stage play. Imprisoned in France's Charenton asylum at the turn of the 18th century, de Sade is a stately court jester in disheveled finery, and Rush imbues the role with the fierce urgency of a writer whose sexual fantasies are his sole remaining defense against repression and hypocrisy. Deprived of quill and ink, he writes with wine, then blood, then his own feces--a descent into madness or an impassioned refusal to be silenced? Quills embraces freedom of expression ("such beauty, such abomination," as one character notes) while affirming that all freedoms have a price. De Sade smuggles manuscripts out of Charenton with help from Madeleine (Kate Winslet), a virginal laundress who relishes de Sade's scandalous prose--a divine irony since she was taught to read by asylum abbé Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), whose desire for Madeleine is suppressed by Catholic propriety. The delicate dynamic of this trio is shattered by the arrival of Royer-Collard (Michael Caine, appearing somewhat comatose), a righteous hypocrite appointed to silence de Sade once and for all. It's all very engrossing as a piece of theater (which it still is, despite Kaufman's elegant filming), and although Wright's literate dialogue limits de Sade to zesty ripostes and sneering perversity, Rush's intensity ensures that the marquis's plight is no laughing matter. Quills has a point, makes it without condescension, and knows the difference between madness and passion. --Jeff Shannon

Buy this movie now

Share your thoughts on Quills's quotes with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this page to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Quills Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.quotes.net/movies/Quills>.

Know another quote from Quills?

Don't let people miss on a great quote from the "Quills" movie - add it here!


The Web's Largest Resource for

Famous Quotes & Sayings


A Member Of The STANDS4 Network