Cinema: Soft-Gore Porn

A fantasy based on the Marquis de Sade is witless

At the Charenton Insane Asylum, the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) has a nice life--good food, good wine, the ability to smuggle his dirty books out to his publisher via a sympathetic chambermaid (Kate Winslet). But he offends Napoleon, who orders an alienist (Michael Caine) to cure him or kill him.

First he's robbed of his writing instruments (the quills that give this movie its title). Undaunted, he uses his blood for ink, his clothing as paper. Stripped, he manages to write a story in his excrement on his cell walls. Finally, his tormentors rip out his tongue. Quills is not,...

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