8. Geoffrey Rush in Quills

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Geoffrey Rush is nuts. Like really. No seriously. Not that I’ve met the man, but just look into his eyes. Those aren’t the eyes of your run-of-the-mill actor who studied mime, even in Australia. There’s a madness. A charismatic, bizarre madness which made him perfect to play a fictionalized Marquis de Sade locked away in an insane asylum in Quills, a performance exuding his exquisite brand of off-hinge.

As De Sade, Rush jumps, leaps, and bounds. He spurts lascivious language, caressing you with each curled consonant. He makes over-the-top exaggerated gestures, that you follow like a spurned pup, only to be rivaled the character’s innate undercurrent of human frailty. Beneath his bombast, the Marquis is a troubled soul looking for respite, whether that be through lust or writing, and to disrupt a system that cruelly tossed him aside for his admittedly unsavoury tastes. He is passion embodied; however outwardly seedy, there is a core of basic bordering on transcendental yearning. And Rush captures all of this with a flicker of his eye, a wave of his arm and a jaunty step to and fro.