Quills: A Hollywood Homage to the Marquis de Sade

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You know how that book The Fifty Shades of Grey is sending everyone into a sex-obsessed furor? So scandalous! Uh... a little late to the game, guys.

In Quills (2000), Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis de Sade, literature's OG kinkster. The Marquis was locked up in a loony bin mental hospital—Charanton Insane Asylum—for no real reason other than his "perverted stories" were considered a sign of madness.

For a while, he has it pretty easy. Kate WInslet's character sneaks his manuscripts out of the asylum and into the hands of a publisher. Joanquin Phoenix, whose character is in charge of the goings on at the asylum, is kind and generous to the Marquis, treating him with humanity and respect.

But when Napolean sends an infamously cruel and torturous doctor to oversee the treatments and goings on at Charanton, the Marquis loses his celeb status, his access to a publisher, and ultimately his mind.


Quills is a really gorgeous film, with a salacious story at its gooey, raunchy, naughty center. [Netflix]