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Many noble families are locked in a chateau due to the French Revolution. The infamous Marquis de Sade is there and is generally shunned by the others. A teen-aged girl befriends him behind her parents back and learns about him and life in general. He initiates her into sexual exploration and leads her to become an independent, sexually-liberated woman. Written by
I saw this on Cinemoi, the satellite French movie channel.
Some of us are familiar with the famous story of the notorious French aristocrat, imprisoned, in some comfort at a Château during the French Revolution. Familiar on both sides of the English Channel now, Daniel Auteille stars as the lecherous libertine and Marianne Dennicourt as the young girl, daughter of another imprisoned noble family who becomes secretly fascinated by him.
Those that have read/seen other versions - the only one I have is Philip Kaufmann's "Quills", a Hollywood-tinged softly erotic character piece for both Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet as the leads I mention. Quills also had Michael Caine, Joaqaine Phoenix, and Billy Whitelaw, so quite a cast.
As you might expect, director Benoit Jacquot gives us a historical drama, in comparison to Kaufman's heated and nicely sin-tinged one. They were made in the same year, 2000. Without a doubt, Sade would be the most accurate, if that's important to you.
Sade is shot rather conventionally, is never in doubt that it's a period piece and so, feels authentic, but quite dry. Don't expect the humour, sex or theatrics of Quills and savour the story of this scandalous man, as he wrote lewd manuscripts and got them smuggled out to publishers via the young girl.
Auteill takes a while to get going - too many real-life activities hinder the Marquis engaging with his young charge - when he does, he starts to show that sexually charismatic spell that he casts - the sort that all manipulating brainwashers seem to possess.
Hardly a review exists and I cannot find an age rating for it. Explicitly it is quite tame until the last scene which would be rated as 18.
If you enjoy authentic historical drama, especially French and are interested in the Sade, the man, rather than a sensationalised account of what he did, then this film may be for you. It wasn't really for me, but I can see its virtues.
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