Director: Philip Kaufman
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Michael Caine
Kaufman has crafted a thoughtful piece, a rarity in the year 2000, but I still found the film somewhat lacking in sophistication. Kaufman displays a somewhat restrained style during the film, an interesting approach considering the controversial topics of the film. He might have succeeded had he not departed from his restraint with a few over-the-top scenes which ultimately detract from the film.
Geoffrey Rush portrays de Sade's witty, playful and creative side extremely well, but lacks the raw sexual attractiveness I thought would be necessary for the infamous de Sade. Still, Rush turns in a good performance as well as Phoenix, whose plays the conflicted man of God all too well. Torn between loyalties to the state and God, as well as his attraction to Madeline (Winslet, also turning in a good performance) and his friendship with and fear of de Sade. Caine gives a good turn as the hypocrite drawn to what he decries.
This is a good film with a few shortcomings that nonetheless accomplishes what I think it set out to do.
When does erotic cross the line into pornography?
Quills: Official Page
Copyright © 1999 - 2003 by Mark Ciocco.
No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission.