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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.