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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp
Not being a huge fan of Liam Neeson, despite an electrifying performance in Gangs of New York, I didn't have high hopes for this film but it really turned out to be very good. Kinsey, a professor, specialising in a particular wasp turns his research to the controversial subject of sex and in particular what couples of any gender, do in the bedroom. His studies spill over...
Published on 14 Nov 2005 by salemskye.com

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel According to St. Alfred
Kinsey may talk frankly about sex, but while it's entertaining enough there's not much there. Bill Condon is too in awe of his subject to seek out the drama in his story: indeed, its surprising just how easy the film makes Kinsey's sex studies seem. With no trouble getting a grant and only Tim Curry's shallow stereotype offering any campus opposition, there's not much in...
Published on 3 Nov 2006 by Trevor Willsmer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel According to St. Alfred, 3 Nov 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
Kinsey may talk frankly about sex, but while it's entertaining enough there's not much there. Bill Condon is too in awe of his subject to seek out the drama in his story: indeed, its surprising just how easy the film makes Kinsey's sex studies seem. With no trouble getting a grant and only Tim Curry's shallow stereotype offering any campus opposition, there's not much in the way of threat or challenge, and the film seems afraid to go to the really dark places aside from one brief scene with William Sadler's proud paedophile. Throughout, Kinsey is presented like Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves and the promise of the early scenes gives way to an old-fashioned biopic that feels so surprisingly like a 50s Scope movie with rude words that I expected a young Gregory Peck to turn up in a grey flannel suit at any moment. Odd, too, to note that Neeson seems to have based his American accent not on Americans but on Anthony Hopkins standard-issue American accent.

Fox's UK DVD includes plentiful deleted scenes but is missing some of the extras from the NTSC 2-disc set.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp, 14 Nov 2005
This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
Not being a huge fan of Liam Neeson, despite an electrifying performance in Gangs of New York, I didn't have high hopes for this film but it really turned out to be very good. Kinsey, a professor, specialising in a particular wasp turns his research to the controversial subject of sex and in particular what couples of any gender, do in the bedroom. His studies spill over into his personal life and the lives of his research fellows. Laura Linney plays his long suffering, but with moments of pleasure, wife. Both performances are believable and credible. The plot is engaging and keeps quite lighthearted in the face of such controversy. My only complaint is that just as we seem to get to the meat and bones of Kinsey's story the film ends. It really left me wondering "what happened next?" Usually in a good film that ending can be used to great psychological effect, but in a semi-biopic film it just seems odd and more than a little unsatisfying. Stilll enjoyable watching, and I may review my stand on Liam Neeson as an actor.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A preoccupation with the naughty bits, 29 Dec 2005
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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KINSEY is the story of Alfred Kinsey, here played by Liam Neeson, the author of "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" (1948) and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" (1953), both of which caused raised, um, eyebrows.
As the film succinctly shows, Alfred, the son of a puritanical minister that went so far as to rail against zippers for giving idle hands easy access to occasions for sin, grew up to be a zoologist whose obsession with collecting and studying the gall wasp gained him a measure of obscurity. However, after marrying Clara McMillen (Laura Linney), with whom he achieved sexual liberation after sorting out a few physical impediments with the help of a knowledgeable physician, Kinsey achieved local notoriety at Indiana University by teaching an enlightened and graphic sex education course for those students and staff contemplating marriage. It was there that he first utilized questionnaires to elicit personal sexual histories, the methodology, administered by trained interviewers, that he later used in the thousands across the nation to build the database for his two books. In KINSEY, we also see depicted the Kinsey couple's unconventional sexual relationship, as well as those of Alfred's cadre of interviewers and their wives. Hugh Hefner could've been proud to have the investigative team over to his mansion for a frolic.
Insofar as it goes, KINSEY appears to give a reasonably accurate summary of the sex researcher's bio. I base this conclusion on my own sketchy knowledge of the subject, hastily gleaned from a website. The film does skip over a couple of minor points. It doesn't share that Alfred was an atheist who thought Judeo-Christian sexual ethics repressive. It also seamlessly transitions from Kinsey's sex-ed class at IU into his larger national study without revealing that he was replaced as the class instructor because his lecture content was too racy for the times.
Perhaps hoping to be on the cutting edge of sexual expression, as were Kinsey's two books, KINSEY has two brief shots of full-frontal male nudity (involving supporting actor Peter Sarsgaard), something not often seen in American theatres in mainstream releases. Kinsey would be pleased.
KINSEY is a finely crafted, entertaining, and instructive look at a simpler time and place before AIDS and HIV became parts of the sexual equation.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb biopic of pioneering sex researcher, 28 Mar 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film rich in excellent acting, being shot in New York the Director was able to cast a plethora of fine stage actors working in NY for short cameo roles. This gives the film a depth and quality that shines as the drama unfolds.
Liam Neelson completely assumes the persona of the somewhat withdrawn, awkward in company but professionally dominant professor. Neelson's vivid portrayal of Kinsey is superb acting, but because the main character is somewhat remote the film looses a little impact. The director intended this to be compensated for by Laura Linney in her equally brilliant portrayal of Kinsey's wife Clara McMillen, but as the drama is firmly focussed on Kinsey and the controversy surrounding him, her role is not sufficiently large to fully achieve the purpose.
The ten minute long opening title sequence is a master class in conveying a great deal of information in a short period. More superb acting from Lyn Redgrave as the final interviewee in the film, just sit and wonder.
A very fine DVD is rounded off with a long list of deleted scenes and an excellent director's commentary.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars According to the Kinsey Report..., 31 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The name of Alfred Kinsey conjures up many different kinds of images and preconceived notions, many of which don't fit the reality of his research and situation. The Kinsey Institute, located on the campus of my undergraduate university in Indiana, is known the world over as a research centre devoted to looking at sex in humans. This can still be a controversial topic, but certainly for middle America during the middle of the twentieth century - this was the protestant 'Bible Belt', and sex was not a topic of proper conversation among educated people.
Written and directed by Bill Condon, this film recounts the tale of Kinsey's professional career, from his early days as a Harvard researcher looking at gall wasps through his career at Indiana University, first as a biologist, and then as director of the research project and institute that today bears his name.
Kinsey is a complex character - perhaps the only way he could get away with his study in the environment of mid-century America was that he was the quintessential academic, in dress, demeanor, and attitude. His process of research, be it on gall wasps or on human subjects, was exactingly clinical. The essence of this devotion and adherence to objective procedure is captured in the film (both in terms of wasps and in terms of people).
One exchange between Kinsey and his fellow researcher Clyde Martin illustrates the point:
Alfred Kinsey: 'The doctors say my heart sounds like a cement mixer.'
Clyde Martin: 'At least they found one.'
Kinsey was aided by his wife, the free-thinking graduate student Clara McMillan. While a biology professor, Kinsey's openness made him a magnet for students to seek him out; sometimes their questions were regarding personal problems. When Kinsey sought out guidance in clinical research, he was frustrated to find there was none, even in medical literature, to help guide him in his counseling for the students. This inspired Kinsey to research, and even to offer classes dealing with the subject (these human sexuality classes are still offered at Indiana University, as well as other universities across the country).
Kinsey's work derived from interviews with literally thousands of subjects, data from whom was collected and compiled, and finally distilled into a major report, 'Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male', published in 1948. While Kinsey had assured the university and those funding his research that his report would be objective and descriptive rather than prescriptive, it was perhaps inevitable that Kinsey would climb down from this pedestal and make the statement that, based on the observable evidence, there is a much wider range to what constitutes 'being normal' than was previously held (particularly in polite, post-Victorian-morality society). This set off a firestorm of controversy the engulfed his research at the same time as the 'red scare' was becoming a prominent issue in the United States.
Kinsey's follow-up volume on human sexuality in females was seen as an attack on family values and 'the American way', and Kinsey's faith in his own processes and work was tested as his health began to falter at the same time. However, the groundwork had been laid, and the field continued to grow and flourish through the rest of the century, both through Kinsey's own institute as well as others founded later.
Condon's direction and writing is very clever, edging between documentary form at times and dramatic play at others. It includes a bit of irony in one exchange:
Reporter: 'Any plans on a Hollywood picture based on the book?'
Alfred Kinsey: 'I can't think of anything more pointless.'
Condon interviewed many of Kinsey's colleagues prior to writing, in essence using Kinsey's own technique. Liam Neeson plays the title role well, with clinical detachment and academic concern held in balance with his obvious passion for his subject. Laura Linney turns in a great performance as Clara; the three other roles of note include Tim Curry as the jealous faculty colleague, Peter Sarsgaard as close research colleague Clyde Martin (who lets his own personal involvement with both Kinsey and his wife create a bit of trouble for the group), and Oliver Platt, who plays the late, great Herman Wells, the visionary leader of Indiana University who hid his own sexual secrets fairly well through his career (for a gay man to be successful in Indiana during that time was a remarkable feat; that one should embrace controversies such as Kinsey, which was courting disaster, was astonishing).
The style of the film is very true to the mid-century; sets, costumes, vehicles, manners - all of these things combine to give a very good depiction of the time and place. This in many ways blunts the subject, but in other ways reinforces it - sexuality is not the domain just of the young, or just of the modern, or just of anything, but can be found in every time and place, including the more antiseptic and conservative of locations. Perhaps this is also part of Condon's point with the film, being produced at a time of resurgent conservatism in North America.
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DVD Extras
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There is a single-disc and double disc version available. The single disc has a commentary track by Bill Condon, subtitles available, and options for wide-screen or full-screen viewing.
The double-disc version includes all of the above, plus Spanish and French audio tracks, featurettes including a brief documentary on the Kinsey Report, twenty deleted scenes, an interactive sex questionnaire, and an overview of sex education at the Kinsey Institute.
Also, be sure and listen in the film for Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of 'Too Darn Hot', a Cole Porter song that has the lyric, 'According to the Kinsey Report...'
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 7 Jan 2006
This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
What a wonderful film, bringing suspense, realism and history to LIFE! Suspense - ie what would happen next? Realism - ie we REALLY believed what we were seeing, and History - ie it brought changes in sexual attitudes alive.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 12 July 2013
This review is from: Kinsey (DVD)
AAbsolutely brilliant film well wworth the money could watch it time and time again very educational fabulous. So good i bought. The book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it. This is a good product. I like it.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in subtlety, 22 Oct 2007
This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
Kinsey bears a striking resemblance to Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind: both are biopic's of controversial historical figures whose single minded perserverance of the "truth" in their chosen fields went against the grain of social convention; both are simplistic, overly sentimental accounts designed as much to tug at the audience's heart strings as to paint a balanced portrait of a complex figure.

Liam Neeson is solid in the lead role as Alfred Kinsey, the man who revolutionised what we know of, and how we view, sex in the western world, while Laura Linney is excellent as his loving, long-suffering wife.

The film shows us Kinsey's formative years being brought up by an overbearing and puritanical father, which lead to a certain lack of social grace and empathy for others in later life, when he becomes an expert etomologist. Kinsey's lack of sexual experience lead to a disastrous wedding night, and he realises that there is almost no scientific material on human sexual practice. This, coupled to a realisation that being an expert on wasps isn't likely to lead to widespread scientific acclaim, is the lightbulb moment when he decides his life's work should be to collect data on human sexuality - starting with students of his college class on sex education.

I found the almost universal willingness of Kinsey's subjects to reveal all about their sex lives without so much as blushing, difficult to believe. Bearing in mind this was the conservative 1940s and no such exercise had ever been undertaken, many people would undoubtedly find such personal questions highly embarassing and even immoral. I also found the ease with which Kinsey persuades both his College and the Rockefeller Foundation to support and fund his studies just a little too convenient. As the film goes on to show, Kinsey's work led to a good deal of controversy which I can't believe wasn't there at the outset.

Bill Condon's direction is somewhat simplistic (for instance the montage scenes of talking heads juxtaposed onto a map of the USA) and his characterisation a little shallow, while the script is no more than adequate - some of the dialogue jars, especially the scene of Kinsey's family openly discussing sex at the dinner table, to the disgust of his son.

Neeson is a fine actor, but ultimately Kinsey doesn't give him the opportunity to show much subtlety and nuance in a fairly one-dimensional portait of an important 20th century figure.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars i didn't connect with this!, 18 Nov 2008
This review is from: Kinsey [DVD] (DVD)
Expecting this to be a funny and honest film about sexual behaviour I was annoyed to find out that hardly any of it made me laugh! Liam Neeson drove me crazy with his weird, pretentious attitude to sex and his wife didn't entertain me much more. Not even a sexy film. I wouldn't bother!
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