Jun 30, 2010


Quills (2000)
Directed by Philip Kaufman. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine.

Long story short: In the Napoleonic France, the Marquis De Sade is imprisoned at an insane asylumn. From behind the bars he manages to slip out his erotic texts to be published.

Well. I'd never heard of this film before I found it at our local library, where I picked it up because I love Kate Winslet and the whole cast seemed pretty good. And... well. I'm not sure what to think about it. But it certainly wasn't an avarage Hollywood movie, no.

Geoffrey Rush didn't get his Oscar nomination for nothing. He's truly disgusting as the obscene Marquis, who can be charming and persuasive if he wants. Yeah, and he obsessively has to write down his dirty stories that kind of whirl around his brain. Otherwise he goes ever more nuts. It's quite creepy, really. But Rush plays the controversial role very well.

 Kate Winslet is great, again, as she always is. She plays Madeleine, a young laudress, who has somehow befriended with the Marquis. I guess she's intrigued by the taboo. It's the 18th century, remember, so nauhgty stories are kind of a no-no, you know. But Kate is just wonderful. I just love that woman! Michael Caine also means guaranteed excellence. He plays Dr. Royer-Collard, who arrieves at the asylumn and engages in a battle of wills with the Marquis. I've never seen him play anyone so unpleasant, and it was odd to dislike him. But he rocked the role.

Then... Joaquin. Joaquin oh Joaquin. Why oh why did you stopped being a great great actor and went a bit, um, weird? Quills made me remember how very good he used to be. His character, the asylumn's priest, is a kind, decent man, but on the other side his struggling with temptation and supressed feelings. And Joaquin plays him like a true Phoenix can be expected to. Sigh. If only these stunning performances would've kept on coming... Please clear your head, man, and keep doing what you do so so well! Pretty please, oh Joaquin?

 (Ooh, he used to be so handsome, too. Damn.) Quills is a daring film. Not necessarily one to be watched with your parents, or any relative, if you know what I mean. It's an interesting film, too. I forgot to mention that it's actually based on real people and events. It's a rare potrayal of the mentality of those people in that place, at that time. At times it's sad, tragic, but funny and charming, too. Kind of. It kept a hold of me the whole time. It's a bold, unique film with an excellent cast. It's not for everyone - some might think it crosses over to the wrong side of good taste - and I'm not going to "warmly recommend" it, as I often do. But well, if you're up for a bit different film experience, why not give it a shot.

Here's a trailer, which I think is pretty good. I like Napoleon's little feet hanging above the floor as he sits on that far too high chair. Haha. And the last shots... I say this once more. Joaquin oh Joaquin.

(Now I'm kind of glad I don't grade the films I write about. I have no idea what I'd do with this one.) 

"In order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice."

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