what you've heard is true. Quills is about the Marquis
Donatien de Sade. Come on buck up! A little S&M never hurt
anyone...well, anyone who wanted to play rough that is.
This is one hell of a film, folks! Geoffrey Rush (another
Aussie) is simply magnetic as Marquis de Sade. He gives the
ancient villain of real life real soul.
Each time he utters a line, spews a perverse verse or spittles
a seedy sound, you are there. Back in 1799 with the master
of maniacal ménage- a- trois. Rush's de Sade is so well done
in fact, one is almost charmed by the lord of lecherous
Yes, de Sade wrote the most infamous porn ever quilled to
parchment- but more than that, he was a tad whacked. He actually
enjoyed a good nipple twisting
followed by perhaps a blunt knife's slice or two into the
genitals. Just to compliment his evening's wine really. Red,
I think. I know it's definitely white wine with whips.
Quills gives some insight as to the acts Mark enjoyed,
he comes off as a rather cynical, paternal, French Larry Flint
, not as a man who was a trifle cruel and self-serving. Not
all of his "partners" were into the shindigs he
had planned. This story is not historically true.
Quills borrows from the myth of a less vile de Sade
for its main character and says - was de Sade really
that sadistic or merely a victim of those colonial thinking
times? You know like the old Dick Van Dyke show with
two beds in the master bedroom...I fell for that till my early
twenties.You be the judge since you simply must see this brilliant
Story goes..de Sade has been imprisoned in a sanitarium, rather
then an actual prison (this time).
befriends his chambermaid, Madeliene ( Kate " Don't
even whisper Titanic or I'll deck you, okay" Winslet).
She's an avid reader of his yarns of yearnings, his tales
of torture, his bedtime bawdies. So she assists him in smuggling
his writings to an underground publisher.
Meanwhile the Dudley DoRight Abbey (Joaquin " I'm getting
better looking with each role, no?" Phoenix) in charge
of the place also takes a shine to Marquis. This Abbey's hell-bent
on reforming the perverse Parisian and saving his demented
soul. He also gives de Sade many special amenities, even though
he is well aware of the Count's notorious reputation. Is the
dear Abbey maybe weakening to the quill scratchings himself?
the evil doctor, Royer- Collard, sent by Napoleon himself.
This wee winkied William is an altogether separate chapter
in Freud's text on the male psyche. The doctor (Michael "
I want to do like 14 movies every six months- so the public
doesn't forget me. " Caine) is just as sadistic
as its namesake. He'll get a small comeuppance...fear not.
Quills has better laughs than some of the registered comedies
I have seen of late. As de Sade , Rush had these lyrical one-liners
that would make Dennis Miller giggle and take notes.
Phoenix is really proving he's no one-hit wonder. His eyes
really make his acting intensely intensified. He always looks
stoned dosen't he? Stoned or not, his performance should
get a nod from several award shows.
Everyone, and every word, is practically perfection. Enjoy.
Oh, and leave your parents at home for this one...not
a family movie kiddies.
a little de Sade-ism to get conversation going at your next
soirée-" Conversation, like certain portions
of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.
Recommendation: Fresh Tongue
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Winslet
and Michael Caine.
By: Philip Kaufman