Kinsey—20th Century Fox
If nothing else, Kinsey shows us just how far we haven't come since Alfred Kinsey first published his books on human sexual behavior in the 1940s and '50s. When we see the sex photos that Professor Kinsey shows his students during his first college course about sex, we're just as shocked as they are that we're actually being allowed to see them-and that the MPAA didn't slap an NC-17 rating on the film as a result. In a manner befitting the subject, writer/director Bill Condon provides a straightforward, almost clinical examination of Kinsey's life, which succeeds primarily because of the wonderful performances by Liam Neeson as Kinsey and Laura Linney as his wife Clara.
The DVD echoes the film's straightforward approach. The colors and detail in the 2.35:1 anamorphic picture are natural, not forced or overexaggerated. Both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks are provided. This is a dialogue-driven work, and it's rendered clearly. Not surprisingly, surround and sub use are minimal.
The standard-edition DVD I reviewed also features a full-length commentary track by Condon, in which he does a nice job blending production stories, background info, and social commentary. Fox also offers a special-edition DVD that features a second disc of extras, including a making-of, deleted scenes, a sex questionnaire, and more.
Kinsey is a well-crafted film with great performances, but your enjoyment of it will inevitably be dictated more by your own comfort level with sexual subject matter. That seems ironically apropos.