Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
Kinsey DVD (2005)

Liam Neeson stars as revolutionary sex expert Alfred Kinsey in this acclaimed biopic. Writer/director Bill Condon wowed the critics with his "simultaneously funny and brutal" approach to the matter of human intimacy while co-star Laura Linney earned an Oscar nod for her portrayal of Kinsey's long-suffering wife. Sadly it didn't fare too well at the box office, especially when compared to Chicago - also scripted by Condon. (That'll be the fishnet-stocking factor, then.)

In And Out

Condon guides you through a whopping 18 deleted scenes with optional commentary. These include more snippets of Kinsey giving his own sexual history and thereby hinting at the fragile state of his marriage, eg He responds with a wry smile when asked: "Does your spouse know about your extramarital intercourse?" But even this reluctance to answer the question is a little heavy-handed and that's why it ended up on the cutting room floor. Condon explains that, "The story was moving along on its own steam and these [interview scenes] became interruptions." He even goes as far as to say, "I started to resent them."

Kinsey DVD Despite this, Condon reveals in his feature commentary that the idea to structure the film around Kinsey's sexual history was crucial. Apparently it took him a year to arrive at this decision whereas initially he wrote the script as a series of recollections narrated by one of Kinsey's employees (to be played by Ian McKellan). It eventually became obvious to Condon that this "wasn't working", but he had plenty of time to mull it over as nobody was interested in making the film anyway. He freely admits that the final script was rejected 83 times.

The Bone Of Contention

Overall Condon gives a fascinating commentary, which is mostly because he's able to offer insight as both a writer and director. Later on he talks about his anxiety over how the MPAA ratings board would react to the graphic imagery and candid discussion of sex that is, of course, integral to the story. On top of that, he speaks eloquently about the hands-on aspects of directing and how it all came together in post-production. As he puts it, the key to cutting this movie was, "Finding the connection between the private - between the way in which Kinsey is working out these issues in his own life - and what he's discovering publicly, through the science."

Finally a gag reel is thrown in to remind us not to take sex too seriously. It features the inevitable schoolboy sniggering that comes as actors are called on to deliver dialogue with repeated utterances of "penis" and "vagina". (Very mature!) Altogether it's a slim package of extras, but it's certainly not short on substance. If Kinsey were here, he'd tell you that size isn't everything.

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Audio commentary by writer/director Bill Condon
  • 18 deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • Gag reel
  • Technical Information

    REGION SOUND MENUS RATIO
    2 Dolby Digital 5.1 Animated, with music 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
    CHAPTERS SUBTITLES AUDIO TRACKS
    33 English English
    CAPTIONS EXTRAS SUBTITLES CERTIFICATE
    English The special features are subtitled (except for the gag reel). 15

    End Credits

    Director: Bill Condon

    Writer: Bill Condon

    Stars: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Peter Sarsgaard, John Lithgow, Chris O'Donnell, Timothy Hutton, Tim O'Donnell, Oliver Platt

    Genre: Drama

    Length: 119 minutes

    Cinema: 04 March 2005

    DVD: 11 July 2005

    Country: USA