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In the late forties and early fifties, biology professor Alfred Kinsey embarked on a field...
In the late forties and early fifties, biology professor Alfred Kinsey embarked on a field of research that would literally change the world. Until then, the subject of sex was largely taboo, until Kinsey well and truly kicked the doors wide open when he surveyed thousands of Americans for his groundbreaking volume Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, and its follow up on the female of the species.
The life of Kinsey is obviously fertile ground for a biopic, with all the essential ingredients - sex, pioneering behaviour, sex, triumphing against the odds, sex - powerfully in place. Writer/director Bill Condon (Gods And Monsters) hits the perfect balance here, treating Kinsey's studies with the intelligence and respect that they deserve, though not shying away from the humour that shattering taboos can also inspire. Condon fearlessly goes to the dark heart of human sexuality too, in one memorable scene where Kinsey interviews a sex addict (played with creepy malevolence by William Sadler) who claims to have fucked every one of his family members, as well as various children, and over 700 species of animal.
Thanks to a series of stellar performances (Liam Neeson is alternately towering and vulnerable as Kinsey, while Laura Linney is sassy and loveable as his wife, and Peter Sarsgaard oozes quiet charisma as the liberated student who comes between them), Condon also gives flight to the labyrinth of personal issues that would slam unceremoniously into Kinsey's studies, as he and his researchers start practicing a little free love, way before its hey day in the sixties.
Bold, moving and uncompromising, Kinsey is one of the year's best.