Stunning period drama with an all star cast including Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix & Michael Caine.
The story follows The Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, who played by Geoffrey Rush is imprisoned for his rauncy writings at Charanton Insane Asylum. He befriends the young Abbe de Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline (Kate Winslet). Events go very wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published by sneaking them out in the laundry.
Emperor Napoleon sends the wicked Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) to oversee the asylum, a man famous for his torturous punishments - this spells trouble for the Marquis.
Despite not enjoying the perverse element of the character of The Marquis de Sade the acting is as good as it gets from the entire cast. The star of the show is the conflicted priest Abbe de Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix) who's performance is Oscar worthy.
There's humorous elements as the script is really strong. Watch out for the scene which prompts The Sade to say "My glorious prose filtered through the minds of the insane. Who knows, they might improve it." - well deserving of a chuckle.
Overall it's spectacular despite it's depressing at times storyline. Well worthy of a watch.