November 23, 2004

Too Darn Hot

Cinecultist never noticed before but Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his book about the American male's sexuality was such a cultural phenomenom that his name appears in the Ella Fitzgerald standard, "Too Darn Hot." According to the Kinsey report, every average male you know..." That's the power of good movies, like Kinsey, they shift your view just slightly to allow another intriguing person into your field of vision, so to speak.

What we loved the most about Kinsey -- though there's lots there to adore, not least of which is the performances by Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard -- is the way that it shows the mistakes made by a brilliant, and at times perhaps too passionate, scientist. There's been a bit of an uproar trying to get this movie banned it certain places because of the frankness of its sexual depictions, and one might think to a liberal, free-thinking Manhattanite like ourselves, there'd be nothing in Kinsey that rankles. However, writer/director Bill Condon finds a way to make even CC feel uncomfortable and judgmental (in the form of Kinsey's interview subject who's catalogued his vast life long sexual exploits including animals and children -- eww) and we respect him for that.

Kinsey pushed boundaries because he believed that the understanding scientific inquiry brings could ultimately make people happier with themselves and in their relationships. While this is a beautiful idea, the movie shows how blind devotion to an idea can be important but not always perfect. Oh, how CC loves these Winter movies that make us think!

Posted by karen at November 23, 2004 8:40 AM