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on 8 September 2013
I love this film and the book. I have watched it over and over again and read the book hundreds of times. Being an old hippy myself I can easily identify with these days. The story is of a young woman and her two daughters living in Morocco during the early 70s. The young mum is in love with the way of life, and wants her daughters to feel that to, but they don't always, especially the elder daughter. I can not recommend this D.V.D. enough. Its lovely!
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on 16 December 2013
without giving the plot away, this is a bit of a chic flic and will appeal to those of us who like adventures, the little girls are charming, cheerful, funny, mysterious and at times a little crazy, lovely film location, a bit of a road trip, dam good soundtrack to boot, probably appeal more to those with a bit of a hippy chick background, not an action film but very entertaining
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on 11 October 2004
Julia, in her mid-twenties and with two young children, has travelled to Morocco in search of spiritual enlightenment of the Sufi variety. There they meet up with a varied selection of characters ranging from the genial criminal to the sour missionary. But she has no money, and lives in constant expectation of a cheque from her ex (the children's father) which is always late or insufficient. Gradually she inches towards the realization that she must learn to live in this world before chasing after another. And all the while it is the children, wise before their time, who bear the brunt of her neglect.
This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story, totally lacking the car chases and mindless violence of Hollywood blockbusters. Aging hippies will find the period and location nostalgic, and the soundtrack is a good reminder of the early 1970s.
It is not entirely free of formulaic directing, though. The nude swimming scene seems quite untrue to the place and time of the story, and seem to have been put in purely because modern European audiences like that sort of thing.
All in all, an enjoyable evening's entertainment, which doesn't preach and doesn't pretend there are easy answers to life's problems.
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on 3 June 2003
2 fantastic films - kate winslet at her best - definately NOT the dolled up snooty girl in Titanic urch all that make up ! Here she is truly moving. I recommend both. Harvey Keitel is also excellent, surprisingly emotional - there's an honesty here...
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on 17 April 2015
Set in the 1970s this is the story of Julia's struggle to escape her life in London and to find a more spiritual path in Morocco. Tagging along with her are her two young daughters, Lucy and Bea. A wonderfully hippy movie with a marvelous soundtrack, Julia's attempts to follow her personal dream, while maintaining a balanced family life and a romantic relationship is at times moving and inspiring but can she manage it all? Said Taghmaoui is particularly good and the two young girls put in amazing performances, Kate Winslet is great as usual too. One of my favourite movies ever, a must for any collection.
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on 25 April 2014
This remains one of my favourite Kate Winslet films. She's warm and natural and the exotic colourfulness is, if not appealing, certainly beguiling. It begins rather randomly - but then, so is the novel. It also adds to the offbeat feel and allows us to have understanding of 1970s Morocco. Like Titanic, it's a seemingly itinerant irresponsible man who sets Kate's character free with a sacrifice. Some have called Julia irresponsible, but her love for her girls is evident, and her desire to experience adventure and something beyond western materialism is very sympathetic, and I think, admirable - and also honestly portrayed. The children for once are not precocious but their behaviour felt very real, such as the randomness of their stories and games.

It's a noisy film, so not one to watch when someone's sleeping in the next room. Plenty of ululating and drum bashing and market shouts, and a soundtrack that's sort of ethnic and contemporary folksy.

I have had much pleasure in rewatching this since it was released and I have yet to tire of it.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 November 2002
This is a wonderful film with stellar performances by the entire cast. It is about a young woman's quest for the meaning of life. Taking place in the early 1970s, it is very reminiscent of an era now passed, an era when "flower power" was the rule of the day.
Here, Kate Winslet plays Julia, a twenty five year old young mother of two children, nine year old Bea, stunningly acted by Bella Riza, and her younger sister, Lucy, charmingly played by Carrie Mullen. They abandon their structured, staid life in London, when Julia decides to leave their father to go to Marrakech in Morocco, then the capitol of the disaffected, in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Taking her children, Julia goes on an adventure, an adventure to which Lucy, the younger of her two daughters, takes to almost immediately. Nine year old Bea, on the other hand, begins to yearn for a more "normal", structured life. Julia, however, will have none of it. Living in a Moroccan slum with her girls, she romanticizes their existence.
Julia becomes involved with Bilal, a street performer of sorts, who looks out for them. Wonderfully acted by Said Taghemaoui, Bilal charms Julia and her daughters. He cannot, however, support them, and they cannot support themselves. This becomes clear as they begin a rag tag journey into the Moroccan country side.
Sooner, rather than later, reality sets in. The adventure wears thin on Bea who becomes estranged from her mother. The harsh reality of every day life confronts Julia, who ultimately realizes that traipsing around Morocco just puts her young daughters at risk. Unfortuntely, this realization does not occur to her until she almost loses Bea to illness. It is then that Bilal steps up to home plate and gives them the means to return. They leave Marrakech to begin their journey home, taking with them enough memories to last a lifetime.
This is a wonderful movie with exceptional cinematography. A virtual travelogue of Moroccan life, it is a visual feast that is sure to delight those who have a hankering for faraway, exotic places and a thirst for adventure
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on 23 March 2000
This is a real Hippie type movie and at the beggining I thought it dragged on a bit but the second time watching it made me realise its one of the best films I've ever seen. Kate Winslet is excellent in this.
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on 19 August 2004
Hideous Kinky is a "true story", that of a young woman who, fed up with her boyfriend (I think, the painter, Lucian Freud) in London in the late 1960's, makes the extraordinary and extraordinarily foolish decision to go with her two very young daughters to Morocco to "find herself". Typically for the time in which the film is set, the "heroine" never seems to consider that her quest could be accomplished in London, but only by finding supposed Sufi wisdom in situ in North Africa. At least she did not take the poor girls to Himalayan peaks to find Shamballah.
The film does bring out what a selfish quest this was, especially to such a place and without money. En route, in Marrakesh, the young mother has an affair with a Moroccan street entertainer and goes through some horrendous experiences (but then, so do the girls, one of whom is simply left "with people" while mother goes off after "wisdom".
Watching this film brings out a range of emotions: amazement, astonishment, contempt even, not to mention sympathy for the young daughters (one of whose eventual autobiographical book this is based on).
A very watchable but intensely annoying film.
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on 13 March 2015
One of the palpable absurdities of White, Western culture is the belief that happiness exists outside of oneself and, by extension, outside of one’s culture.

White culture is dominated by Whites who have little sense of rootedness in the world and so feel the need to become tourists in a life they do not (& do not wish to) fully comprehend. And yet they feel that the cultures in which they slum are somehow inferior; despite their believing they will discover themselves by slumming in them.

The chosen White inability to introspect honestly and rationally is the dramatic basis here and the film lurches dangerously into creating a travelog that endorses such personal irresponsibility. This movie is really an adventure-without-an-adventure since the White characters are still in the process of becoming, thus the adventure is never felt internally - merely as something to talk about rather than something to learn from.

The magnificent and always game Kate WINSLET gets the empty ebullience of her character with ease and successfully manages to convey her pointless wanderlust. Her selflessness lies in not having any stability to offer her children, allied with the strange fact that she thinks this is advantageous to them. Her lack of a sense of permanence leads her to live on quicksand rather than in genuine self-knowledge. Her desire is the usual: To be someone else; to believe the world owes her a living; and, that the world is her oyster.

This is the running away from reality that the film, itself, does not fully explore. A shame because the story of the creation of a meaningful life for oneself and one’s dependents would have made for a much better and more emotionally-engaging movie than this.
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