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Hideous Kinky

MacKinnon's film of Esther Freud's semi-autobiographical novel displays characteristic subtlety and intelligence. A penniless single mother (Winslet) and her two young daughters try to make a go of it in Morocco in the early '70s. The kids have no problems with mum's relationship with a local charmer, but they're less happy with her restless spirit of adventure and her desire to find herself in Sufism. Extremely clear eyed, the film's densely textured portrait of both Moroccan and middle-class hippy culture is unsentimental, evocative and convincing, and never takes sides with or against the mother. 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.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Screenwriter: Billy MacKinnon
Cast: Kate Winslet
Saïd Tagmaoui
Pierre Clémenti
Bella Riza
Carrie Mullan
Abigail Cruttenden
Ahmed Boulane
Sira Stampe
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