The infamous writer, the Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, is imprisoned at Charenton Insane Asylum for unmentionable activities. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier, who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline. Things go terribly wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published. The emperor Napoleon contemplates sending Dr. Royer-Collard to oversee the asylum, a man famed for his torturous punishments. It could mean the end of Charenton and possibly the Marquis himself.Written by
Emily H and Janette W
A baroque and quite entertaining film about the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) and the conflicting reactions (disgust, titillation, excitement, abhorrence) his ideas and writings fostered in those exposed to them.
Rush jumps into the character of de Sade with mad glee, and hardly any scenery is left after he's done chewing it all. He's a marvelous actor and one whose work goes slightly underrated. Also doing a fine job in this film is the ever-reliable Kate Winslet, and providing the ick factor he brings to every movie he's in is Joaquin Phoenix as a religious man who's disturbed by the naughty thoughts de Sade makes him realize he has.
The costumes and production design are a delight and earned Oscar nominations, as did Rush for his performance.
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