It would be hard for anyone to follow the critically acclaimed Quills, a vibrant portrayal of the Marquis de Sade, brilliantly coming alive through the talents of Geoffrey Rush. As a point of interest, the recently released Sade was actually made in the same year (2000). Having another strike against it for being foreign with subtitles, it had to take its time coming over to the United States. Being based on a similar subject, and created at the same time, it's nearly impossible to discuss without some sort of comparison.
This Sade (Daniel Auteuil) is no less seductively charismatic than Rush was, but he has less to do, as Sade chooses to focus more attention on the cultural climate than any specific, provocative interaction between characters. Rush was allowed more leeway to display range from torment to arrogance while Auteuil's Sade is a bit too impervious to his surroundings. What they do both achieve is providing an easy attraction. Neither have the stereotypically sexual physique the average woman clambers for, but their wit and intelligence are arousing. The acting isn't necessarily better in the English counterpart, but there is more weight given to individual motivation so that you're more attuned to personal struggles in the progressively oppressive Napoleonic era.
Continue reading: Sade Review