Cast includes: Liam Neeson (Michael Collins), Laura Linney (The Laramie Project), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun), Timothy Hutton (Sunshine State)
Writer/director: Bill Concon (Gods and Monsters)
Genre: Biographical drama (2004)
In brief: Kinsey is based on the life of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who is most often known as the sex doctor. In the early 1900’s Kinsey grew up in a very religious and repressive home. His decision to pursue a degree in biology was a deep blow to his father, who could see no purpose in this ungodly branch of science. Eventually, through the use of film montages and musical accompaniment, we catch up with Prof. Kinsey at Indiana University where he is becoming the world’s leading expert on the gohl wasp. He meets and marries one of his students, a gohl wasp enthusiast named Mac. After an unpromising beginning, Kinsey and Mac enjoy a happy sex life and assume that their experiences are totally normal. As the wasp studies are finishing up, Kinsey notices that many of his students seem to seek his counsel with questions about sex. Kinsey answers many questions using common sense, but realizes that there has never been a significant study on the topic of human sexuality. He sets out to conduct such a study.
Kensey’s first book was published in 1948. His books were bestsellers, but the information and the studies were ridiculed. The information was seen more as a source of entertainment than as a legitimate scientific study. Even today, it’s difficult to separate the scientific study of human sexual behavior from the many complex emotional aspects… embarrassment, ridicule, excitement, humor, love, etc. The film introduces us to a person we may not know well and takes us on a journey with him… at the same time, it uses the Alfred Kinsey’s story to explore a social issue that might be worth thinking about and may be just as controversial today as it was in 1948.
Kinsey himself was a determined, enthusiastic scientist, who rarely saw the humor in his studies. Yet the reception from the public and even the scientific community of his accomplishments was disappointing. But, as one can imagine, this line of study did have its lighter moments. And the filmmakers chose to use humor to take the edge off the more serious reality. It’s a fine line between conveying the controversial and important aspects of Kinsey’s work, while keeping this film entertaining.
3 popped kernels
Popped kernels for the interesting subject matter, good character development, acting and good script.