Hideous Kinky | Chicago Reader

Hideous Kinky

An Englishwoman (Kate Winslet) desperate to leave her old life behind takes her two daughters to Marrakech, where she halfheartedly pursues a fascination with Sufism. When the father of her children stops sending money, she conveniently meets a new man (Said Taghmaoui), forming a connection that seems as magical as it is pragmatic. He becomes as close to the children as to her, but his choice whether to make a life with them is complicated. This passionate story (1999, 97 min.), set in 1972, is told from a kaleidoscope of viewpoints—those of the pathetic and sympathetic woman, the idealized and flawed man, and the two precocious sisters, whose bond with each other sustains them in the midst of the adults' uncertain behavior. The fusion of dream sequences and evocative landscapes makes the characters' feverish sense of living at the edge of reality contagious. Gillies MacKinnon directed a screenplay by Billy MacKinnon, based on a novel by Esther Freud.

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