(out of 5)

Excellent drama about the Marquis de Sade’s influence on the keepers and inmates of the madhouse Charenton, where he spent his last days after being declared criminally insane by French authorities. lives it up as the Marquis, and  is letter-perfect as the charwoman he adores for her innocence. The issues of censorship and its backward application by authoritative figures is the message here, and it is executed gracefully by Philip Kaufman’s sure direction and performances by the ensemble cast, particularly Winslet and  as the noble-hearted priest who runs the asylum. It is better than the other film about the Marquis made the same year, Benoit Jacquot’s Sade, but in that film its star Daniel Auteuil made a better lead. This film has some very explicit content that is at the same time shocking and refreshingly honest.

Fox Searchlight Pictures, Industry Entertainment, Walrus & Associates, Hollywood Partners

USA/Germany/United Kingdom, 2000

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on his play

Cinematography by

Produced by 

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Geoffrey Rush as “The Marquis de Sade”)
Best Art Direction (art direction: Martin Childs; set decoration: Jill Quertier)
Best Costume Design (Jacqueline West)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Geoffrey Rush)
Best Screenplay (Douglas Wright)


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