Sex 101
Kinsey
Review by Ross Anthony

Raised by a pompous preacher father in a time that squelched constructive discussion of sex and in fact, imprisoned those guilty of "deviation," a somewhat nerdy Kinsey studies wasps.

Wasps fascinate him; he sets out to collect as many of one species as possible as to study their differences and similarities. Alas, on his wedding night (both he and his wife virgins) he discovers something of greater importance -- the knowledge of sex.

Kinsey spends the rest of the film collecting statistics from his students, from the public in general until he amasses a body of sexual behavior data and both praise and criticism from the public at large.

The film depicts Kinsey as a scientist who is objective about his study; but he's not too objective to become a subject of experimentation. This film, as did Kinsey the man, will no doubt upset moralists, while eliciting appreciation from those out of (what moralists would call) "The norm." Btw, various acts are briefly depicted.

Overall, Neeson is compelling and likeable as the driven Kinsey. Thankfully, Kinsey isn't portrayed as perfect; he has a tendency to become domineering, and inconsiderate. And while studies on sex such as Kinsey's are quiet useful, this film is a biography -- not a report and thus dilutes itself by avoiding the psycho/emotional element of sex (in my humble opinion). Twice (maybe), the film includes some one hurt over their partner's sexual experiment, but this pain is trivialized and quickly eclipsed by a sort of giddying freedom of clinical knowledge of sex and sexual expression both in act and words. The film could have been much richer had it given equal screen time to the emotive.

Further, I've become spoiled by the many many previous bio films that have done marvelous work in the casting and makeup departments. Hence, I found this film quite lacking in its ability to portray Kinsey at various ages. He's 12, then he's 19, then bam, he's Liam Neeson. So from 20 to 50, he's 50. The same is true of his wife and close in friends. Since no one seems to age, finding a sense of the timeline is difficult, frustrating and disorientating.

The film also attempts to heighten the contrast of sexual expression against the stifling background of the mid-1900's. This is done by writing the dialogue from a 1950's perspective, but also by filming the dialogue in a 1950's TV/film timing.

Overall, Kinsey is a curious person, his studies are very interesting and Neeson is a solid actor. So, though imperfect, this bio period piece is also rather curious and will no doubt prompt engaging discussions. Grade - slightly above average.


  • Kinsey. Copyright © 2004. Rated R. 118 minutes.
  • Starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow.
  • Directed and written by Bill Condon.
  • Produced by Gail Mutrux at Fox Searchlight.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:06:23 PDT