4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For whatever reason, American cinema is notoriously prudish about sex. Frank, adult films with strong sexual content are few and far between and generally quite controversial. In an era where any amount of violence, gore and brutality is commonplace, I find it odd that religious pundits and the ratings board are primarily on the attack against sexual material. So, with a great deal of interest, I approached "Kinsey" when it arrived in theaters. I wondered how a major studio would handle a conventional biopic about a sexual pioneer.
I was thrilled with the result! Bill Condon crafted a serious, challenging film. It had been a long time since I'd seen a relevant movie that spoke openly about sex. My recent experience re-watching "Kinsey" has only strengthened my resolve to proclaim it a significant and brilliant film. It's hard to imagine the bulk of this film is set in the forties, because much of the conversation is as taboo to today's society (at least how it is represented in film) as it was then. Kinsey, an unlikely candidate to become America's best known sex researcher, is played in a stunning warts-and-all portrayal by Liam Neeson. Equally motivated by science, the animal kingdom, and his own sexual ineptitude--we see every step of Kinsey's own liberation. As we learn about the habits, passions, and frustrations of others--so too do we learn more about ourselves.
The screenplay, also by Condon, is extremely literate and thoughtful. This is a grown-up movie made for intelligent adults. Imagine! Neeson, as I've mentioned, is perfection. Laura Linney, as Kinsey's wife, was the film's sole Oscar nomination. She is solid, as usual, always an interesting blend of need and strength. Along with Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard also deserved acting recognition. A real actor's actor, Sarsgaard is often overlooked and undervalued but here he is a revelation as the man who beds both of the Kinsey's. Even the smaller roles are fleshed out with intelligence including John Lithgow, Chris O'Donnell and Timothy Hutton all doing fine work.
A minor hiccup doesn't change my overall passion for "Kinsey," but the ending was a bit conventional for such a special film. In a different world, this movie would have been a commercial hit! It would have garnered an Oscar nod for Best Picture. Along with Linney, Neeson and Sarsgaard would have been acting nominees. And Condon would have been up for Writing and Directing. Sadly, I don't live in that world for it's a world where movies are made for grown-ups and quality triumphs! KGHarris, 10/06.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
During the course of his 15 years of research, Dr. Alfred Kinsey interviewed over 18,000 subjects.
As depicted here, the ground-breaking sexologist is himself a deviant who seems to worsen with time.
Interviewing his own overly-pious dad (Lithgow) for a statistical study, 'Prok' (short for Prof. Kinsey) asks about masturbation and learns of his grandfather's cruel abuse because of a son's "sinful" behavior. In a shudder-inducing scene near the end, our AC/DC scientist has bloodied himself by mutilating "little Kinsey" just to experience what it feels like!
Not for the squeamish or easily offended.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(7.1) Kinsey (USA/Germany-2004) - Liam Neeson/Laura Linney/Chris O'Donnell/Peter Sarsgaard/Timothy Hutton/John Lithgow/Tim Curry/Oliver Platt/Dylan Baker/Veronica Cartwright/Lynn Redgrave
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
Very educational! This documentary on Kinsey does a great job showing his studies and his fight to be able to study sex openly.