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Hideous Kinky (1999)

Kate Winslet , Saïd Taghmaoui , Gillies MacKinnon  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Winslet, Saïd Taghmaoui, Bella Riza, Carrie Mullan, Pierre Clémenti
  • Directors: Gillies MacKinnon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 1999
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K3U6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hideous Kinky" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Hideous Kinky journeys back to the early 1970s to Marrakesh, that hippy mecca for everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Gillies MacKinnon, the director of this movie. Here you'll find one nice but confused middle-class young woman escaping the daily grind of a drab London with her two young daughters in tow. Whereas Esther Freud's book was told from the younger girl's perspective, the film-script places Julia centre-stage as she searches for what she describes wistfully as "the annihilation of the ego."

Though fresh from her Titanic experience, Kate Winslet is no drippy hippy, bringing a refreshing feistiness to her role and looking fetching swathed in diaphanous layers. As her two daughters, Bella Riza (Bea, the wide-eyed younger one) and Carrie Mullan (Lucy, the sensible one) are brilliant discoveries--unselfconscious, charmingly quirky, and enjoying a camaraderie that belies their difference in characters. Completing the family unit is Julia's lover, the endearingly unreliable Bilal (a fiery performance from Saïd Taghmaoui). When the money runs out, their adventures begin and the resilience and practicality of the girls is contrasted throughout with the dreaminess of their mother, her sense of duty vying with her quest for self-discovery. Visually, it's a veritable feast as we're pitched from the color and cacophony of the marketplace to the dusty harshness of the mountains. And that elusive title--which is never explained in the film--is in fact a phrase coined by the girls as a term of approbation. --Harriet Smith


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Hollywood movie--thank God. January 15, 2000
Format:DVD
Off-beat, original, and a masterpiece. That is Hideous Kinky in a nutshell. Kate Winslett was once an actress I held in contempt for that horrid movie Titanic. Since then, however, she has redeemed herself. Playing most notably, Ophelia in Branagh's Hamlet, and the delightfully sinful cousin in the adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel Jude. This movie is no exception. Here she plays an English expatriate living in Moracco. She has taken her two small children and the three of them live in poverty waiting on the next check from the children's careless father, who is a poet in England. As Winslett continues her neverending seach for inner enlightenment and her obsession with the sufi, she becomes as neglectful to the children as their father is. It is a tale about a woman who desires freedom, but is torn by responsibility.
Supporting Winslet is an excellent cast of unknows. Playing her love interest, Bilal, is Saïd Taghmaoui, who handles his role excellently. Perhaps most impressive are the two little girls. Older Bea, who just wants to be normal, is played by Bella Riza. Carrie Mullan is younger Lucy, who is still trying to understand what her wild life means.
Director Gillies MacKinnon does a wonderful job of portraying the foreign landscape and capturing the overall feel of Moracco. Based on the novel by Esther Freud (yes, she is in the direct lineage of old Siggy) this movie is not a typical flick, which is what makes it so nice. A refreshing break from the run-of-the-mill Hollywood movie, this may be the best movie the world never saw.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A woman finds herself in Morocco trying to find herself September 25, 2004
Format:DVD
"Hideous Kinky" is based on an autobiographical novel by Esther Freud (Sigmund's great-granddaughter, not that this means anything in terms of the story) and stars Kate Winslet as Julia, a young British woman who has traveled to Marrakech in 1972 with her two young daughters in tow, 8-year old Bea (Bella Riza) and 6-year old Lucy (Carrie Mullan). Julia seems to be living in this exotic world because is a truth-seeker, but she is also running away from her life in London, where she caught her "husband" (i.e., the man who fathered her children), cheating on her. He is supposed to be sending them checks and care passages from home, but what usually happens is that the checks never arrive or are less than expected while the packages are intended for his "other" family.

This film holds us at a distance because the perspective is not so much that of the mother as it is of the daughters. Conveniently one of them is game for being dragged around a foreign land while the other becomes rebellious. The world does seemed turned upside down when a young girl tells her hippie mother: "I don't need another adventure, Mom. I need to go to school. I need to learn things." Julia wants to understand Sufi philosophy and find inner peace. Her daughters would like to taste rice pudding again (every time the older one has something to say the younger one announces the fact).

It is not so much that the movie condemns Julia as it is that it fails to understand her, largely because she clearly does not understand herself. Throughout the film director Gillies MacKinnon uses familiar songs by the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Richie Havens to substitute for action and to provide the film with the appropriate vibe.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUIRKY AND ABSORBING FILM... June 26, 2001
Format:DVD
This is a wonderful film with stellar performances by the entire cast. It is about a young woman's quest for the meaning of life. Taking place in the early 1970s, it is very reminiscent of an era now passed, an era when "flower power" was the rule of the day.
Here, Kate Winslet plays Julia, a twenty five year old young mother of two children, nine year old Bea, stunningly acted by Bella Riza, and her younger sister, Lucy, charmingly played by Carrie Mullen. They abandon their structured, staid life in London, when Julia decides to leave their father to go to Marrakech in Morocco, then the capitol of the disaffected, in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Taking her children, Julia goes on an adventure, an adventure to which Lucy, the younger of her two daughters, takes to almost immediately. Nine year old Bea, on the other hand, begins to yearn for a more "normal", structured life. Julia, however, will have none of it. Living in a Moroccan slum with her girls, she romanticizes their existence.
Julia becomes involved with Bilal, a street performer of sorts, who looks out for them. Wonderfully acted by Said Taghemaoui, Bilal charms Julia and her daughters. He cannot, however, support them, and they cannot support themselves. This becomes clear as they begin a rag tag journey into the Moroccan country side.
Sooner, rather than later, reality sets in. The adventure wears thin on Bea who becomes estranged from her mother. The harsh reality of every day life confronts Julia, who ultimately realizes that traipsing around Morocco just puts her young daughters at risk. Unfortuntely, this realization does not occur to her until she almost loses Bea to illness. It is then that Bilal steps up to home plate and gives them the means to return.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting movie
I have never traveled the world but I feel that the setting and the people in this movie gave me a sense of what I would find if I could travel there. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. A. Conley
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my all-time favorite movies.
How did so many people miss this one? And now it's not in print. Well, it had an absolutely lousy trailer. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chickenma
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't watch it on my DVD player
It's in a format ("unrecognizable region") that my DVD play cannot play. Very very disappointing. I've been looking for and waiting for this film for some time. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Angela Breckenridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Hideous Kinky: The Seventies in a Quest for Timelessness
Hideous Kinky (1999) may sound like a porno movie, a horror movie, or a twisted combination of the two. It is none of the above. This is an unconventional drama set in 1972. Read more
Published on December 21, 2011 by Bill Corporandy
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful movie
i really enjoyed the movie. it was breathtakign and slowly-relax-middle east pace. beautiful hippie things, beautiful middle east, and i absolutely lved bilal, such a lveable... Read more
Published on April 10, 2011 by apocalypse blonde
5.0 out of 5 stars Pocketful of Sunshine
This is a film that carries you away and transports you into a magical, intoxicating world. Kate Winslet is as usual, fantastic. Read more
Published on February 3, 2009 by zooni
5.0 out of 5 stars In my Top Three all time favorites.
There is not much I can say about this movie that hasn't been said beautifully by others. I saw this when I was around 20 years old and it left an indelible impression on me. Read more
Published on February 19, 2008 by E. Inks
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Truth Is A Man Standing Upright In The Sun" ~ Duties And Passing...
Synopsis: Set in the year 1972 in Marrakech, Morocco we find twenty-five year old British hippie Julia (Kate Winslet) wandering about Marrakech with her two young daughters. Read more
Published on February 26, 2007 by Brian E. Erland
5.0 out of 5 stars Mothers on a journey often abandon their children
Kate Winslet stars as a single English mother of two who takes them to Morocco with her on her spiritual journey. Read more
Published on January 14, 2007 by M. Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Hideously Good
Kate Winslet is a very good actress, there is no doubt about it. She is one of few actors who gives a very honest account of the character she is playing being extremely focused to... Read more
Published on October 11, 2006 by Nate
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