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Review: Kinsey (2004)

Kinsey (2004) 

Directed by: Bill Condon

Premise: A biopic of biologist Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) who did pioneering research in human sexuality.

What Works: The film conveys Kinsey’s struggles both personally and professionally. Liam Neeson gives a very strong performance in a very complex role, and complements the film’s script, which interweaves Kinsey’s personal and professional life. Laura Linney also gives a very strong performance as Kinsey’s wife. There are some harrowing moments in the beginning of their marriage and the two actors really shine in these scenes. The picture deals with mature subject matter but treats it with respect and this makes the film’s content and Kinsey’s arguments much more respectable and interesting.

What Doesn’t: While giving airtime to Kinsey’s arguments about sexuality and society, the film runs the risk of becoming too didactic and in the middle it loses some of the narrative strength. It recovers most of this in the third act, although the resolution is somewhat unclear.

DVD extras: Commentary track, featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag real.

Bottom Line: Kinsey is an important film that is likely to provoke the viewer with ideas about sexuality and the human animal. While it runs the risk of becoming too expository, the film’s subject matter demands this kind of presentation.

Episode: #64 (August 14, 2005)