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Quills Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The Marquis de Sade was a man who liked to stir up trouble, at a time when his native France was in a state of tremendous political turmoil, and this historical drama examines how much controversy he could cause even under repressive circumstances. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) manages to narrowly escape execution during the Reign of Terror, and instead is sentenced to the Charenton Asylum for the Insane. Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), the priest who heads the asylum, is sympathetic to the political machinations that have put the Marquis in his care, and allows him not only to write what he pleases, but to stage theater pieces using the other patients as actors. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine), a tyrannical doctor overseeing the mental institutions of Napoleonic France, is as outraged as the emperor when he reads Justine, a scabrous volume the Marquis penned while an inmate at Charenton, and he demands that de Sade be stopped. But Royer-Collard soon learns that stopping the Marquis from writing is not so simple; when de Sade's quills and ink are taken from him, he uses wine and even his own blood to write his stories. When these options are no longer available, he dictates his work with the help of Madeline (Kate Winslet), a laundry girl working at the asylum, who is fascinated by the notorious de Sade, though she declines his frequent requests to satisfy his notorious sexual appetites. Based on the play by Doug Wright (who also penned the screenplay), Quills was directed by Philip Kaufman, who previously documented the line between eroticism and literature in Henry and June and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:September 2, 2000

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jill Quertier Best Art Direction 2000 Nominee
Screen Actors Guild Geoffrey Rush Best Actor 2000 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Geoffrey Rush Best Actor 2000 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Geoffrey Rush Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Geoffrey Rush Best Actor 2000 Nominee
Broadcast Film Critics Association Joaquin Phoenix Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
National Board of Review Joaquin Phoenix Best Supporting Actor 2000 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Kate Winslet Best Supporting Actress 2000 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Jacqueline West Best Costume Design 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jacqueline West Best Costume Design 2000 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Doug Wright Best Screenplay 2000 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Martin Childs Best Production Design 2000 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Martin Childs Best Art Direction 2000 Nominee

Cast

Geoffrey Rush
as Marquis de Sade
Kate Winslet
as Madeleine
Joaquin Phoenix
as Coulmier
Michael Caine
as Royer-Collard
Billie Whitelaw
as Madame LeClerc
Patrick Malahide
as Delbene
Pauline McLynn
as Mademoiselle Clairwill
Stephen Moyer
as Prouix
Pauline McLynn
as Mademoiselle Clairwill

Crew

Philip Kaufman
Director
Nick Wechsler
Producer
Julia Chasman
Producer
Peter Kaufman
Producer
Doug Wright
Play Author
Doug Wright
Screenwriter
Rogier Stoffers
Cinematographer
Stephen Warbeck
Composer (Music Score)
Peter Boyle
Editor
Martin Childs
Production Designer
Steve Lawrence
Art Director
Mark Huffam
Co-producer
Des McAnuff
Executive Producer
Sandra Schulberg
Executive Producer
Rudolf Wiesmeier
Executive Producer
Jill Quertier
Set Designer
Jacqueline West
Costume Designer
Deborah Saban
First Assistant Director
Frank Eulner
Supervising Sound Editor
Vic Armstrong
Second Unit Director
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