Hideous Kinky (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hideous Kinky (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Gillies MacKinnon directed this $5.6 million production with a screenplay by his brother, Billy MacKinnon. The film adapts the 1992 autobiographical novel by Esther Freud (Sigmund Freud's granddaughter) about hippie misadventures in North Africa in 1972, as described by a five-year-old girl. Disenchanted with the dreary conventions of English life, 25-year-old Julia (Kate Winslet) heads for Morocco with her children, six-year-old Lucy (Carrie Mullan) and precocious eight-year-old Bea (Bella Riza). Living at a low-rent Marrakesh hotel, the trio survives on the sale of hand-sewn dolls and a few checks from the girls' father, a London poet who also has a child by another woman. After the girls match their mother with gentle Moroccan acrobat and con man Bilal (Said Taghmaoui), sexual gears are set in motion, and he moves in, serving as a surrogate father. Julia's friend Eva (Sira Stampe) urges Julia to study in Algiers with a revered Sufi master at a school of "the annihilation of the ego," and in another sequence European dandy Santoni invites Julia and the girls to his villa. As finances dwindle, Julia's philosophy is "God will provide," although usually it's Bilal who provides. This film was shot October-November 1997 in Morocco, where Winslet caught a stomach bug. Back in London, she went directly into the hospital and thus missed Titanic's London premiere. The score blends North African music with British-American pop hits of the '60s. The film's title derives from a word game played by the girls. Shown at the 1998 Dinard Festival of British Cinema and the 1998 London Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, sex)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 26, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for Hideous Kinky

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (12)

The fusion of dream sequences and evocative landscapes makes the characters' feverish sense of living at the edge of reality contagious.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Kate Winslet, luscious in a brilliantly colored caftan and flushed from the heat of an African sun, makes a beautiful hippie, circa 1972, in Hideous Kinky.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Kate Winslet continues an uninterrupted line of fine performances with the modest yet affecting Hideous Kinky.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

MacKinnon draws terrific performances from all involved (Winslet bravely refusing to court our sympathies), lets character, mood and meaning take precedence over story, and assembles a great music track as a bonus. Spot on.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It augurs well for the long-term integrity of her career that Winslet in this movie doesn't try to ingratiate herself with the audience.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Screenwriter Billy MacKinnon had to have struggled to write convincing dialogue about searching for spiritual enlightenment. Much of what comes out of Julia's mouth sounds like babble.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hideous Kinky

I enjoyed the movie. I watched it a while ago so I don't have much to offer. I remember thinking that it was very pretty. The young girls were adorable.

Megan S

Super Reviewer


An enjoyable performance by Kate Winslett, who plays the part of a hippie mother living in Marrakesh with her two daughters, struggling to earn money from day to day.

This drama was a little slow moving and not hugely exciting yet enjoyable and intriguing and an opportunity to delve into a new culture.

Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

The only highlights of Hideous Kinky were a shot of Kate Winslet's boobs and a few slightly amusing scenes. Not anything to base an entire movie off of. Actually that shot wasn't even that flattering, the more I think about it. Mainly the movie just wanders around forever like it took some bad acid and woke up 3 states away.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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