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My Horrible Year! (2001 TV Movie)
7/10
Allison Mack is GREAT in this decent coming-of-age tale
20 December 2004
Okay, "made for TV" -- Showtime, actually -- rarely means "watchable," but Smallville star Allison Mack really shines as the clunky-but-aware kid with braces, strange friends and a first crush in this purported "slice o' life" comedy. Think "That '70s Show" crossed with "10 Things I Hate About You" and you've about got it. While there are no stand-out performances besides Mack's, most of the supporting characters are quirky enough to be memorable, including Caterina Scorsone as the Bret Harte-idolizing best friend. Credit Eric Stoltz for reasonably fast-paced direction and keeping the characters, if not necessarily the plot, interesting. This is definitely a "either you like it or you don't" movie. I like it.
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Kinsey (2004)
9/10
A top-notch exploration of the man and the revolution he spawned
11 November 2004
Almost from the moment the project was announced, religious pro-censorship

groups were up in arms over the fact that Hollywood was going to do a movie

about America's first prolific, rigorously scientific sex researcher, Alfred Kinsey. Both radio talk show host 'Dr.' Laura Schlessinger and Meese Commission

researcher Dr. Judith Reisman have mounted campaigns, first to have the

project abandoned, and later, to convince moviegoers not to see it by charging that Kinsey's personal sexuality included pedophilia (a charge this film skirts but does not deny) and that his research results were inaccurate, especially as

regards homosexual behavior.

It is perhaps in response to such character assassination that the film's

releasing company has provided trailers to theaters and on its Website that are vague if not actually misleading about the film's content. But hopefully, such skewed criticisms will simply inspire more viewers to attend this top-notch tale, which succeeds wildly on both cinematic and biographical levels.

Kinsey is an excellent portrait of the man, his wife and his research team,

complete with all the foibles attendant to sexual researchers living in a sexually- repressed and -repressive environment. Viewers are also treated to snapshots

of Kinsey's parents and their repressed sexuality, as well as various

interviewees, who range from the relatively normal to the completely whacked- out (William Sadler).

I expect to see Oscar nominations for actors Neeson, Linney and Sarsgaard,

director Condon, the cinematography, the editing and the screenplay. This is a feast!
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