talk about sex"
Know for his extremely detailed research techniques Professor
Alfred Kinsey (Neeson) saw an opportunity to study the one subject that had
never been properly researched, human sexuality. The problem was that in the
1940s this was a subject that polite society just didn't talk about but as
he started his research he realised that sexual behaviour was completely different
for everyone and his findings had to be published.
In the 1940s, Alfred Kinsey research into sexual behaviour was
extremely controversial but are his findings and methods still enough to raise
a few eyebrows in the more liberal new millennium?
While extreme violence, bad language and racist behaviour have
lost most of their taboos on the silver screen, sex is still a controversial
subject even now. People's attitude to viewing the most basic of human behaviours
at the cinema still causes sensationalism in the media and communities. In
the 1940s Alfred Kinsey tried to change people's feeling about sex by for
the first time, allowing people to understand it but even now, the notion
of talking frankly about the subject is contentious issue.
A pioneer in the field, Professor Alfred Kinsey brought sexual
education out of the dark ages. His 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the
Human Male" was a best seller and opened the way for advanced research into
the most taboo subject of the time. This film charts the life of the Professor
from his religious upbringing by a domineering father, through the development
of intensive research techniques, the publishing of his book and his own sexual
awakening. We meet the people that defined his life and work and are exposed
to his drive for knowledge that made the man such a pioneer in the field.
Bringing this fascinating figure to life is writer/director
Bill Condon. No stranger to the biopic and helming the James Whale inspired
picture 'Gods and Monster', Condon takes on the task of chronicling most of
Kinsey's life as he tries to portray his drive and passion for a subject that
consumed most of his later life. The writer/director achieves this with some
decorum. What could have easily have turned into a banner flick for the conservative,
moral high ground, is approached in a way that doesn't exploit the subject
for exhibitionism or to gain notoriety but show the man as the true pioneer
he actually was. Kinsey broke down many barriers in research, sexual acceptance
and understanding and Condon focuses on this instead of the more notorious
aspects of the subject matter.
Bringing Alfred Kinsey to life is the always excellent Liam
Neeson. The man is an expert at portraying real life characters with gusto
and professionalism. He really emerges himself in the character, taking the
man through his early life as a biology researcher, through to his final days
when illness threatened to end his work before he could complete it. This
is a commanding performance from the actor, proving again that he is one of
the greats of his generation. The same can be said about Laura Linney. An
excellent character actress, Linney makes Kinsey's wife Clara 'Mac' McMillen
totally believable. An avid supporter and contributor to Kinsey work, Mac
was the professor's rock who stuck by him, however the work affected him and
their relationship. Linney is an expert at bringing characters like this to
life, showcasing her brilliant acting abilities.
Condon has gathered together an impressive supporting cast to
accompany the leading two actors. Peter Sarsgaard continues to mark himself
out as a character actor to watch. In another fine performance as Kinsey's
friend, assistant and lover Clyde Martin, he displays all the maturity and
skill needed for a demanding role like this. Chris O'Donnell finally gets
a decent role as researcher Wardell Pomeroy and the same can be said for Timothy
Hutton as Paul Gebhard. There are also some standout performances from John
Lithgow as Kinsey's father, Oliver Platt as Dean Herman Wells, Tim Curry as
Thurman Rice and a disturbing performance William Sadler as Kenneth Braun.
'Kinsey' is a fascinating insight into a true pioneer. Without
Kinsey contribution to the world we could have still been in the dark ages
were sex is concerned, so this is a story that needed to be told. With excellent
performances throughout and Condon's eye for the visual, character development
and skill with the script, he makes the subject one that you can't help but
been intrigued by.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
sound, the movie is presented well.
Deleted Scenes (23.49 mins)
Entitled 'Sex History Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7', 'Chemistry & Cooking',
'Miner's Lettuce', 'Dinner with Kinsey's', 'Need for a sex course', 'Rice
complains to Wells', 'Giving up the marriage course', 'Training the team',
'Astounding', 'Speaking in code', 'Braun phone call', 'Huntington Hartford/New
York Times' and 'Original ending', these deleted or extended scenes have optional
commentary by writer/director Bill Condon.
Commentary with writer/director Bill Condon
In a change from the usual commentary track approach, Bill Condon basically
talks for the entire length of the film, telling you the story of how the
movie was made. Revealing facts about the evolution of the script, the amount
of research he had to do and his approach to the biopic, the writer/director
talks passionately about the Kinsey and the movie. This is a good listen and
a change from the usual slapping on the back and far too positive tracks that
grace many a DVD.
Gag Reel (2.51 mins)
Here you can see that even the most accomplished actors can make a hash of
their lines every now and again.
A behind the scenes look at 'Kingdom of Heaven' and 'Sideways'.
Previews of 'Kingdom of Heaven', 'Melinda & Melinda', 'The Chorus' and 'Fantastic
Fox have done another good job with the DVD release of 'Kinsey'. Bill Condon's
commentary track is very good, as is the deleted scenes but a few interviews
with the cast wouldn't have gone a miss. Fans will be pleased with the DVD
Gods and Monsters
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