Hideous Kinky

Hideous Kinky is neither hideous nor kinky. It merely kind of meanders along, as Julia (Kate Winslet) and her two daughters go on a quest in Algeria to look for spiritual enlightenment. The biggest draw to this movie is that it is Winslet's first movie since mega-hit Titanic.

Based on a book by Esther Freud, Hideous seems to be a movie made a decade or two too late, similar to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson's drug filled trip to the city of sin. People from a different generation probably could have identified with the movie, but alas, not today. The story follows the somewhat hippy-ish Julia in Marrakech. She meets Bilal (Said Taghmaoui), and he joins them as they wander around doing stuff. Bilal becomes a sort of husband and lover to Julia and a father figure towards Bea and Lucy, Julia's daughters. Julia wanders around looking for the meaning of life, and one of her daughters wants to stay, the other wants to leave. The few Europeans that she meets harshly disapprove of her and her ways. There is a small subplot involving Julia's rich soccer playing ex-husband, but it's fruition isn't really worth it.

The story seems to go on and on, with nothing much ever really happening. It is as if you are watching someone's vacation video of their trip. Unfortunately, all of this combines to maket the film somewhat boring. Winslet does a good job, and once again has chosen a smaller role that stretches her acting ability instead of opting for another large vacuous Hollywood film. She has honed her ability in such small artsy roles (Jude the Obscure, Hamlet, ...) and continues her growth as an actress here. She obviously enjoyed her experience her, since she wed director Giles MacKinnon shortly after filming ended.
Mongoose rates it: Not that good
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated R for language and some sexuality.

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