A Dangerous Method

Rated R 99 minutes 2011

We expected something of a drawing-room talkfest when director David Cronenberg – with help from screenwriter Christopher Hampton, adapting his own play as well as John Kerr’s book – undertook a meeting of the minds between the fathers of psychoanalysis, Carl Gustav Jung (played by Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), circa 1904-1913. We also expected Cronenberg’s fascination with clinical mannerisms and grotesque sexuality to figure in, as it does when Jung falls in adulterous love with his patient, a hysterical masochist named Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley, with ants in her pants and bats in her belfry). What we didn’t expect was that it would turn out quite so restrained. Cronenberg’s customary dry sense of humor is hard to spot, even though the two shrinks and the needy patient-turned-practitioner provide him with some ripe opportunities. Sex and Death. Yup. And professional ethics in the good old days. When Sabina accuses Jung of being “a philistine bourgeois complacent coward,” count the number of coughs you hear around you in the theater – that’s how many psychologists there are in the audience. (99 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site: www.sonyclassics.com/adangerousmethod

Director: David Cronenberg

Producer: Jeremy Thomas, Thomas Sterchi, Matthias Zimmerman, Karl Spoerri, Stephan Mallmann and Peter Watson

Cast: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Gadon, Vincent Cassel, André Hennicke, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Wladimir Matuchin, Jost Grix, Severin von Hoensbroech, Torsten Knippertz, Dirk Greis and Katharina Palm

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A Dangerous Method

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