CORPORATE LINE: Academy Award®-winning writer-director Bill Condon (GODS AND MONSTERS) turns the microscope on Alfred Kinsey in a drama that is at once a portrait of a man driven to uncover the most private secrets of the nation, and a journey into the mystery of human behavior. Liam Neeson stars as Alfred Kinsey, who in 1948 irrevocably changed American culture and created a media sensation with his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Asking thousands of people about the most intimate aspects of their lives, Kinsey lifted the weight of doubt and shame from a society in which sex was hidden, and knowledge was dangerous. His work sparked one of the most intense cultural debates of the past century – a debate that rages on today.
Created by a remarkable roster of talent both in front of and behind the camera, the all-star cast of KINSEY includes Oscar® nominee Liam Neeson (SCHINDLER’S LIST), Oscar-nominated Laura Linney (YOU CAN COUNT ON ME), Golden Globe® nominee Chris O’Donnell (SCENT OF A WOMAN), Golden Globe-nominated Peter Sarsgaard (SHATTERED GLASS), Oscar winner Timothy Hutton (ORDINARY PEOPLE), Oscar nominee John Lithgow (TERMS OF ENDEARMENT), Emmy®-nominated Tim Curry (“Tales from the Crypt”), Emmy nominee Oliver Platt (“The West Wing”) and National Board of Review Winner Dylan Baker (HAPPINESS).
THE GOOD: Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, as Kinsey’s wife Clara, are magnificent. John Litgow as Kinsey’s father drives home a character that we’ll hate as much as his son. Peter Sarsgaard is brilliant in his role as Kinsey’s assistant Clyde Martin. Bravo to the casting of Kinsey as there is no weak link to be found.
Kinsey seems as sexy as any skin flick yet it’s not erotic at all. Kinsey is smart not sexual. Kinsey himself is almost a brain without emotion which gets him into trouble as a feast of the flesh cannot go without issues. Kinsey is more emotionally rout than Professor Kinsey himself.
THE BAD: Kinsey despised his father and in turn treats his son in a few scenes similarly and yet there is no broaching the subject further. We are stuck without any understanding how it ended—if Kinsey ever fixed his own issues with his son. There are things that go unresolved. His family is introduced; however all but his wife disappear as if they were ghosts.
Disc One: The Commentary with writer/director Bill Condon is full of interesting detail. Its obvious Condon enjoyed making the movie and was very involved with every aspect.
Disc Two: “The Kinsey Report: Sex on Film” is a documentary featurette that runs ninety minutes and covers just about everything you’d want or need to know about Kinsey. It’s very in-depth and is certainly worth watching. There is an unbelievable amount of deleted scenes plus alternative ending with optional commentary by Bill Condon. There is a very short Gag reel and a featurette “Sex Ed at the Kinsey Institute” which discusses the institute—the title tells you all you need to know. Finally there is an “Interactive Sex Questionnaire.”
FRANKLY: Kinsey studied sex to help people and yet nearly failed in his own wife, family, and closest friends. Kinsey was a man who believed numbers were the answer to all things and yet couldn’t quantify love. Kinsey helped people he didn’t know but tended to hurt the ones he loved in an attempt to prove his point. Kinsey is wonderful.
+ Charlie Craine