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Kinsey (2004)

  Directed by: Bill Condon
Written by: Bill Condon
Starring: Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard
Links: Kinsey on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"In the year of biopics, this one doesn't stand out" - a review by pearly

Kinsey portrays the life of Alfred Kinsey, a doctor who tackled the alien subject of sex, publishing, in 1948, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Researching sexual behaviour from a scientific point of view, his studies were met simultaneously with behind-closed-doors voyeurism-style readings, and outrage.

Liam Neeson plays the good doctor, with Laura Linney as Clara "Mac" McMillen, his wife. Whilst gathering survey data with his subjects, Kinsey also turns to running experiments with his assistant Clyde (Peter Sarsgaard), and the two embark on a sexual relationship. He defends this to his wife using the science as an excuse, but it paves the way for more hijinks between the various members of his staff, not always with good results.

My favourite parts of Kinsey were the montages of subjects speaking about different things to do with sex - the stylising of each person brought a focus onto the era - the fifties, where these sorts of topics were not to be spoken of in polite (or for that manner, any) company. The film has been praised for its performances, and while it's true that each of the main members of the cast did a sterling job, I found that overall, the film failed to really capture me.

It was interesting to learn of Kinsey's approach in his work, though as it has become the norm with biopics to exaggerate the truth, or even to make things up, it was difficult to know just how accurate this portrayal was. Although this cannot be counted as a criticism of this film in particular, it is a shame that if watching a film based on the life of someone with whom you are not familiar, you cannot take what is shown as the truth, but must delve into what is true and what is merely "poetic license", put there purely to create cinematic impact. Regardless, I enjoyed Kinsey for my brief stay with it, but it lacked substance to make it into anything brilliant.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 7 Feb 2005

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