A Dangerous Method chronicles the early period of psychoanalysis and the clash between Sigmund Freud and his critical follower Carl Jung. The story focuses on the ‘hysterical’ Sabina Spielrein, who after being successfully treated by Jung, embarks on a secret relationship with him.
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This movie is great just to see Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortenson trade blows as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud respectively. Also Keira Knightley is exceptional in this and the bondage scenes between her and Fassbinder are great too. Very talky, but it's some good talk.
Cronenberg makes you feel every twitching, tense muscle in Knightely's performance, smell the air of Freud's cigars, and for some reason salivate over every meal Fassbender eats over the many cinematic courses of A DANGEROUS METHOD. Its in many ways Cronenberg's most accessible film to date and his most youthful and seemingly effortless, and that is truly a compliment.
A tintillating treatment of Jung's relationship to Spielrein, which continues Cronenberg's own fascination with sexuality and fetishism, this time though nicely packaged into celebrity cinema. It's decently acted but the emphasis is given to the depoliticized issue of sexuality, while the Jungian breach with Freud is not really being hinted via Jung's own fascination with fascist archetypes. Interesting but anemic.
More fairly, 3 stars... But 2 captures the disappointment involved in watching Cronenberg get boring. Really, though, it was fine, in the sense of being mediocre, straightforward, banal, passable. Nothing overtly *wrong* with it (except the wasted opportunity, and maybe Knightley's acting)... It's just not very good.
Cronenberg's most conventional film by a mile - a linear biopic regarding two famed iconic psychoanalysts, Jung and Freud. The decision to focus on a single case study in order to represent their career spanning socio-intellectual conflict is an appropriate dramatic decision. The script has its contrivances, but authenticity is provided through the performances of Knightley, Mortensen and Fassbender. A solid effort.
Great acting, decent filmmaking, dull storytelling. Worth a watch but somewhat disappointing. I expected something from dynamic from Cronenberg given the subject matter, but this was the cinematic equivalent of Oliver Stone dropping the ball with World Trade Center and W.
What I find amazing is that Keira Knightley managed to convince so many people that she actually possesses some sort of acting ability. All I see every time she's on screen is an overacting fest. Oh well. Amazingly not even Fassbender and Mortensen do very well either in this film even though they are excellent actors. Overall I thought it was pretty bad.