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Movie Review: Kinsey

Alternate Title: What's Love Got to do With it?

Story: I learned about sex on the streets of Brooklyn just like all of my other friends (right after my mother silently left a book called 'The Stork Didn't Bring You' on my night stand). Gasp!

After seeing this very entertaining biopic about the ground breaking, still controversial researcher Alfred Kinsey I am convinced that his seminal ideas started the whole sexual revolution that culminated in the 60's (hallelujah).

Directed and written by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) we are treated to a mature, well written, well acted and fascinating study of how Kinsey started his project and how it effected the rest of the country. Some people are still pissed by the whole idea of sex as pleasure. OY!

The first part of the film is delivered in a nonlinear fashion and we see how Kinsey was raised and how he became the brave man that he evolved into being. From his obsessive study of gall wasps (he collected over a million of them) he finally realized that no two wasps were alike. That study and its painstaking labor eventually led him to study the human animal and sexual behavior of the citizens of the US. It turns out (not surprisingly) that stuff goes on behind closed doors that no one in the 1940s and 50s wanted to talk about or even think about. His work changed all of that.

Acting: Liam Neeson delivers a knock your socks (or pants) off performance as Alfred Kinsey. His concentration and energy were riveting. Laura Linney as his devoted wife (and sometime subject) was also terrific. There are some great supporting actors in this film as well. John Lithgow as Kinsey's priggish father reminded me of the role he played in Footloose, but without the dancing. Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass) was, once again, great in his role (and is not afraid to appear in full frontal mode). And special kudos to Lynn Redgrave, with her powerful cameo appearance at the end of the film.

Predilection: I like biopics, I like Liam Neeson, I like sex.

Critters: Lots of forest critters including owls, woodpeckers, squirrels, deer and of course all of those gall wasps.

Food: Lots of good Indiana home cookin' including rhubarb pie and milk.

Visual Art: File footage of archival sex education films, posters and photos.

Soundtrack: Funny, at times.

Opening Titles: Unobtrusive overlays of type. Stay for the credits and you will get a good chuckle.

Theater Audience: A handful of viewers who seemed to be enjoying the film as much as I did.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Drift Range: I only drifted for a bit thinking about how much of our society is still prudish, immature, often punishing of others and uneducated about sex.

Squirm Scale: 0

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes. I think Neeson will be nominated for this role.

Nit Picking: No nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. Here are some of my other favorite Liam Neeson films: Gangs of New York, K-19, The Widowmaker, Michael Collins, Rob Roy, Schindler's List, Ethan Fromme and Darkman.

Length: Two hours.