Geoffrey Rush received his third Oscar nomination for portraying The Marquis de Sade in Quills.
Rush makes no attempts for a real historical characterization of Marquis de Sade, and instead just gives one his standard theatrical performances for the Marquis instead. He is always in the picture acting wildly and outrageously. He keeps with his wild man writer characterization throughout the film, sometimes crying out when being censored or attempting to act darkly seductive at other times.
Rush puts his usual gusto into the role, and although I like that some of the time, I felt that it in this performance became quite tiresome rather quickly. I knew exactly what his performance was going to be, and exactly what Rush was going to do with his performance from his first scene. I'll give him credit for trying, and I won't say he fails at the precise type of performance he was going for, but for me it seemed rather unremarkable.
Sure his theatricality does technically work for the style of the film, which is wildly over the top, and rather obvious, but for me all his theatricality did technically nothing. It felt like a chore for me to get through this performance because I knew exactly what his performance had in store. His performance always stays a very external performance, that failed to ever become particularly interesting, or even effective for me.