´╗┐ Kinsey (2004) starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliver Platt directed by Bill Condon Movie Review

Kinsey (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

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Liam Neeson in Kinsey (2004)

Let's Talk About Sex

This movie review of "Kinsey" comes from someone who had never heard of Alfred Kinsey or the books he wrote or the controversy he caused. Instead this movie review comes from a movie fan that enjoys the biopic genre because of their enlightening tendencies and came to watch "Kinsey" with an open mind. I might also say that whilst I had never heard of Alfred Kinsey when I got "Kinsey" I grabbed the barest of information before I sat down to watch as going into a biopic completely blind of the person in focus is not a good thing.

So I am not the right person to tell you about how truthful to the man "Kinsey" is but I can say it is an effective drama which certainly isn't something you will want to watch with your parents. That drama does two things; firstly it takes us through the life of Kinsey, from his teenage years with a strict father who was a Minister, through his sexual fumblings on his wedding night to causing controversy when he published the first of his revealing books on people's sexual habits. We see his initial study of wasps turn to humans and also see how his determination and drive made his directness hard to deal with as he is oblivious that his directness can be unsettling.

Laura Linney in Kinsey (2004)

The second thing is that it takes us through his sexual studies, the team he put together, the frank questions they asked and so on. We see how not only does his research and publishing cause an out cry but we also see how it changes him, leading him to openly experiment sexually.

Now it has to be said all of this is fascinating and eye opening for those like me who did not know who Kinsey was before watching this. And it is a nicely put together biopic with a fluid style that at times has a real artistry to the cinematography which contrasts with other elements such as the black and white footage of the interview training. Plus it has some expected solid performances with Liam Neeson delivering an entertaining performance of a man who goes from professor to a man driven to be the best. There are other good performances from Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard but "Kinsey" is driven by Neeson's portrayal of a driven man. But I can't but feel that at times it is just another biopic which lacks an element of creativity to make it feel more original, to deviate from the path trodden by other biopics.

What this all boils down to is that "Kinsey" is a solid movie and an interesting look at the life of Alfred Kinsey. But it is also in style a standard biopic which at times makes it feel incredibly ordinary.


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