|"Paint me like one of your French girls."|
Look, history assholes, Quills isn't real history. It doesn't even pretend to be real history, and nobody with the critical faculties of a five-year-old could mistake it for real history. It's a parable; the historical elements are a shorthand. The movie doesn't have to waste time establishing who Geoffrey Rush's character is: they just go "this is the Marquis de Sade" and you know everything you need to know. Structurally, it's less historical fiction than fairy tale. Three times, the Marquis manages to produce manuscripts in his room without pen or paper, like Hansel figuring out how to mark the path home without stones. Like so many fairy tales, Quills has a definite moral, but I don't think that having a moral is a mark against a film, as long as the filmmakers are honest about it. Subtlety, I'm sure the Marquis would agree, is an overrated virtue.
I mean come on.