Let’s Talk About Sex
By Erin Keene
Remember the name Kinsey from your psychology class? You know, he’s the guy who was the first to study sexual behavior and wrote Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Well, if you didn’t learn about it, here’s your chance; they made a movie of his life.
In the beginning of the film, Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) is remembering his early days as a young zoologist and professor who fell in love with one of his freethinking students, Clara McMillen (Laura Linney). Clara, “Mac” as she is nicknamed, and Kinsey quickly get married and want to consummate their love. But because they lived back in the1930’s, a time when sex was not discussed, they were never taught how to please each other and were confused about what was ethically right or wrong.
Being a teacher himself, Kinsey seeks professional help. “There must be someone we can talk to or a book where we can read about this,” he says, but the only books published declared that masturbation is a sin and that kissing your partner’s genitals could be harmful to your health. Jack Mathews of Daily News claims, “In the depiction of the period’s sexual ignorance, Kinsey is often hilariously funny.”
Kinsey and his wife pioneer the subject as they begin a class to counsel married couples. To educate the students further, more information must be gathered by taking sexual surveys. Kinsey travels the country with shocking inquiries, such as: “What do you fantasize about?” and “When was the first time you masturbated?” He “drops his atom bomb” on the country by publishing the shocking results in his best selling book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.
Although the study becomes a strain on Kinsey’s marriage as they begin to experiment with other couples and partners of the same sex, both characters are very strong and make you feel deeply for their position of emotions. Rolling Stone raves, “Laura Linney and Liam Neeson are a dynamite match.” This movie will hold your attention and provoke discussion.
Director Bill Condon, of the Academy Award-winning Gods and Monsters and writer of Chicago, pieces everything together smoothly with back up of executive producer Francis Coppola (The Godfather). “Bill Condon’s Kinsey is an instant Oscar contender,” says Richard Roeper (Ebert & Roeper).