A Dangerous Method

"Very Good"

A Dangerous Method Review


Cronenberg's brainy approach makes this film fascinating but demanding as it traces the birth of psychoanalysis through the relationship and rivalry between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The film radiates intelligence through clever direction and strong performances.

In 1904 Zurich, Jung (Fassbender) tests Freud's theoretical "talking cure" on manic patient Sabina (Knightley). And it works, revealing Sabina's own skills as a potential shrink. Two years later, Jung travels to Vienna to meet Freud (Mortensen), and they start a working friendship. But when Freud refers an outspoken patient (Cassel), Jung starts to question his morality. As a result, he starts an affair with Sabina, which is much hotter than his comfortable marriage to Emma (Gadon). But this causes him to question Freud's theories, leading to a clash of the titans.

The most enjoyable thing about this film is the way it encourages us to think for ourselves. Without taking sides or getting too academic about it, Hampton's script (his play The Talking Cure was based on John Kerr's book A Most Dangerous Method) provocatively explores psychoanalytical theory. Yes, there's rather a lot of talky dialog, both face-to-face discussions and detailed correspondence. And it often feels like a stage production. But it's also packed with bracing observations.

It also features terrific acting from Fassbender and Mortensen as men who are held together by their restrictive societies even as their beliefs transgress taboos. These are smart, tightly wound performances that reveal cracks in both men's personalities even as their theories are poised to forever change the way we look at the human mind. Knightley's performance is more difficult, as Sabina's wild insanity gives way to a fragile intelligence. Sometimes this feels like mad overacting compared to Jung's Protestant repression, but ultimately she's the only character who wears her emotions honestly.

As usual, Cronenberg designs the film to look almost mundane. The period design is unfussy, the lighting is a bit on the bright side and the costumes bind up the characters so they can barely move. But through the darkly layered performances and some clever directing and editing, it's fairly clear that Cronenberg is exploring his favourite place in the universe: the human brain.

And we wouldn't want to go there with anyone else.



A Dangerous Method

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 10th November 2011

Box Office USA: $5.7M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Lago Films, Recorded Picture Company (RPC)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 130 Rotten: 39

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Sigmund Freud, as Sabina Spielrein, as Carl Jung, as Otto Gross, as Emma Jung, André Hennicke as Professor Eugen Bleuler, as Sandor Ferenczi, Katharina Palm as Martha Freud, Mignon Remé as Jung's Secretary, Mareike Carrière as Food Nurse, Franziska Arndt as Bath Nurse, Wladimir Matuchin as Nikolai Spielrein, André Dietz as Medical Policeman, as Bathtub Patient, Sarah Marecek as Orchard Nurse, Björn Geske as Orderly, Markus Haase as Orderly, Christian Serritiello as Ship's Officer, Clemens Giebel as Ship's Steward, Theo Meller as Karl Abraham, Jost Grix as Leonhard Seif, Severin von Hoensbroech as Johan van Ophuijsen, Torsten Knippertz as Ernest Jones, Dirk S. Greis as Franz Riklin, Nina Azizi as Minna Bernays, Julie Chevallier as Anna Freud, Cynthia Cosima as Sophie Freud, Mirko Guckeisen as Ernst Freud, Julia Mack as Mathilde Freud, Andrea Magro as Jean Freud, Aaron Keller as Oliver Freud, Nadine Salomon as Maid at Freud's House, Naike Jaszczyk as Agathe Jung, Sarah Adams as Gret Jung

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.