Hideous Kinky

Julia (Kate Winslet) has upped sticks from her one-bedroom London flat and moved to Marrakech after her partner cheated on her and left. Accompanying Julia are her two daughters, seven year old Bea (Bella Riza) and five year old Lucy (Carrie Mullan). Whilst in Morocco, Julia runs into financial difficulties and seeks romance, eventually finding it with street acrobat/quarry labourer Bilal (La Haine‘s Said Taghmaoui), before continuing to travel around the foreign lands with her children.

I’ve not discussed it yet on this here blog, but as I mentioned on the most recent episode of the Lambcast, I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Oscars, the first I’ve ever sat through due to living in a country where they aren’t shown at a sensible hour (1:00-5:00am on a Monday morning) or a readily available channel (Sky Movies, which I don’t have). The highlight for me, and many similarly immature individuals, was host Seth MacFarlane’s introductory monologue, in which he very correctly pointed out that Kate Winslet has a knack, and some would say a talent, for getting her boobs out in films. So when we sat down to watch a film starring Kate Winslet and called Hideous Kinky, I paused the film at the very start and made a bet with Aisha as to how far into the film we’d get before this English treasure would unveil her own English treasures. Aisha said 15 minutes, and I opted for either the film opening on her in the nude, or vast expanses of her flesh becoming highly visible at around the 25 minute mark. Technically, we were both correct, as although Winslet was indeed naked for the opening shot, she was lying on her front with the fun parts all covered up. These parts were later revealed almost exactly on the fifteenth minute, so points go to my better half for this round.
 
Anyway, mammary-based gambling aside, what of the film? Well, to put it bluntly, I wasn’t a fan. The main problem here is a severe lack of plot, with the narrative instead taking on a more chapter-based structure as Julia and her kids muddle through one mini-adventure or overcome some dilemma or other, before moving onto the next one. There isn’t a strong narrative drive, other than the gradual disintegration of the already fractured family unit. Early on, it would seem that this is just another fairly standard rom-com between Julia and Bilal, but one that just happens to be set in northern Africa as opposed to east London or L.A., but after visiting Bilal’s village his little sub-strand is soon dismissed in favour of, well nothing much, really. 

Often the film felt like one long montage sequence. Initially, Julia needs money as her eldest daughter, Bea, wants to go to school, which requires a uniform, which requires money. Seconds later, in the next scene, Julia has a job working as a translator for a poet, and seconds after that Bea is returning from her first day of Moroccan education. It’s not long until Julia doesn’t have a job once more – the poet only needed her for ten translations – and Julia must resort to selling things she has knitted instead. This sort of thing happens almost non-stop throughout the film, and elsewhere there is a severe lack of exposition to explain even slightly what is going on, as though you’re flicking through someone’s holiday photos without them there to describe what is going on. 

Apparently, the film is supposedly told from the perspective of Julia’s youngest child, Lucy, which would explain the disjointed nature and lack of explanation, as how much of the world does a five year old truly understand, especially when that world consists of an emotionally disorientated hippy mother amidst completely unfamiliar surroundings. If this is the case then it is an effective storytelling technique, but it isn’t one that I approved of, as I kept thinking I’d fallen asleep and missed several minutes of what must have been crucial plot points that, upon inspection, didn’t actually exist. The plot did pick up a little towards the end, but even then what could have become intense or frantic sequences were resolved far too quickly, removing any sense of tension or captivation.

The highlight for me came in certain elements of the soundtrack, when both America’s Horse With No Name and Queen’s Somebody To Love played, as these are both songs I love. Other than that, there isn’t a great deal I can say about the film that is in any way complimentary.

Choose life 3/10

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2 thoughts on “Hideous Kinky

  1. I admit I chuckled about Seth Macfarlanes Kaye Winslet joke too. She sure has no problem showing her boobies. Oh we'll, she's awesome, she can do whatever she wants.But she shouldn't do anything like this movie again. Because yes, it is very not good. I actually saw this in theaters back in the day. Yuck. And I vaguely remember looking forward to watching it, then having no idea what had happened when it finished.

  2. I've not been having a terribly good run of Winslet films of late, what with this, Finding Neverland, David Gale and All the King's Men (review pending). The latter was just awful, and didn't even have any boobies in!

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