QUILLS 2000 Fox Searchlight

“Best Picture of the year” – National Board of Review


From the director of the first NC-17 film, comes a provocative, daring tale of passion and persecution, and the uncrushable spirit of the human imagination.

Phil Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Henry and June) directs this erotic fiction about one of the most devilish minds and freest spirits the world has ever known.

Penned by Doug Wright, the screenplay was adapted from his Obie Award-winning play. Deep in the corridors of the Charenton Asylum, past the giggles of madmen and the clanking of chain, a writer sits, penning page after page of incendiary prose. Stories so deeply perverse, that Napoleon himself issues an order to silence the man. The writer’s name? The Marquis de Sade. Academy Award winner GEOFFREY RUSH stars as the wildly wicked Marquis whose blasphemous writings take creation in his forbidden cell through the help of an innocent asylum laundress, Madeleine (two-time Academy Award nominee KATE WINSLET) and the God-loving Abbe Coulmier (JOAQUIN PHOENIX). Both sacrifice their security and souls on behalf of this mad genius, until a new doctor (Academy Award winner MICHAEL CAINE) is sent by Napoleon to “cure” the Marquis of his pornographic desires.


“…wickedly funny…blasphemous…very sexy, very tender, very frightening…mischievous, subversive and liberating …best picture material.”

– David Thomson, The New York Times

The return of the Marquis de Sade Philip Kaufman’s new “Quills” pits the Marquis de Sade against Kenneth Starr in Napoleonic drag


A Career Spent Near the Edge Philip Kaufman isn’t afraid of tackling prickly subjects. ‘Quills’ is the latest example.


But I see serious Oscar� contention for Philip Kaufman (Best Director), Doug Wright (Best Adapted Screenplay), Geoffrey Rush (Best Actor), Kate Winslet (Best Actress), Joaquin Phoenix (fighting himself for a Best Supporting Actor slot for his Gladiator performance�what a year for this kid!), Rogier Stoffers (Best Cinematography), Jacqueline West (Best Costume Design), Martin Childs (Best Production Design), Nuala Conway, Peter King & Jeremy Woodhead (Best Make-up) and for Julia Chasman, Peter Kaufman & Nick Wechsler (Best Picture). Plus, maybe, Michael Caine as Best Supporting Actor in a role diametrically opposed to the one he won for last year. And I wouldn’t be shocked if every single one of these people got a nod. The movie is that good. The production is that fine. The acting is that perfect. And the movie is that important.

-TNT’s roughcut.com

Erica’s Review of Quills September 24, 2000 – I have finally had a free moment to sit and write about Quills. First of all let me explain how I was able to go in the first place. My friend called me on the phone and said ” listen to this…” He rambled ( no offense) on about how this college in NH was showing Quills as a part of a Telluride festival. We both agreed that we had to go! I mean it’s Kate 🙂

-Kate Winslet’s Fan Club

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