Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Set in the Charenton Asylum in 1793, the film centres around Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) an author of Erotic literature, and how the numerous attempts to stop him by the Asylum Priest, Abbé du Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix) won't quench his passion for writing erotic literature, and using launderess Madeleine (Kate Winslet) to get it to publishers.
Although the film is very sexual and extremely erotic, it is a film that expresses how as individuals, humans feel the need for freedom to express themselves. Through a screenplay which shows just how sexual and lustful humans are by sinful nature, we have a leading character (played to poetic perfection by Rush), whose ultimate desire is to write freely, without the obstacles society and rules put before him. Through sensitive dialogue and Rush's touching performance we are moved by the character's hate for boundaries and sympathize with his need for literate freedom.
Rush is supported beautifully by Winslet and Phoenix, who in two very underrated performances also express touching needs/desires for freedom. Winslet, in a sensitive and well realized performance, depicts a character who feels the need to be free, but fights it to look after the mother (Billie Whitelaw) that she loves; while a refined Phoenix as Abbé falls in love with Madeleine and has to fight his feelings due to his duty as the Asylum Priest.
The three leads are directed to near-perfection by Philip Kaufman, with a stellar supporting cast who make the Asylum patients truly tragic characters, who have an underlying yearning to live a normal life. And set against a beautifully designed background of Charenton Asylum this gritty and erotic film is very deep, moving and meaningful. A beautiful piece of cinema and and one of the best films of 2000.
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine, Billie Whitelaw, Stephen Marcus, Amelia Warner, Stephen Moyer, Ron Cook, Jane Menelaus, Elizabeth Berrington, Patrick Malahide, Tony Pritchard, Michael Jenn.
Oscar nominations: Best Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Best Art Direction (Martin Childs, Jill Quertier), Best Costume Design (Jacqueline West).