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Quills is a 2000 period film directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted from the Obie award-winning play by Doug Wright, who also wrote the original screenplay. Inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade, Quills re-imagines the last years of the Marquis’ incarceration in the insane asylum at Charenton. It stars Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade, Joaquin Phoenix as the AbbÃ© du Coulmier, Michael Caine as Dr. Royer-Collard, and Kate Winslet as laundress Madeleine “Maddie” LeClerc.
Well received by critics, Quills garnered numerous accolades for star Geoffrey Rush, including nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The film was a modest art house success, averaging $27,709 per screen its debut weekend, and eventually grossing $17,989,277 internationally. Cited by historians as factually inaccurate, Quills filmmakers and writers said they were not making a biography of de Sade, but exploring issues such as censorship, pornography, sex, art, mental illness, and religion. It was released with an R rating due to some violence, horrific images, language, and nudity.
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