A Dangerous Method Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 16, 2011
I decided to check this out when the professor mentioned this movie in a lecture for my class on European mysticism and psychoanalysis. Keira Knightley's most impressive performance yet. The relationship between the three is depicted with delicious tension, intellectual sparring and a fated tragicness. I appreciated that the filmmakers leaned towards more academic accuracy than cheap melodrama.

The only unconvincing part of the story was that Jung's penchant for mysticism didn't seem to colour his interactions or behaviour in the first half of the film, but then abruptly emerged in his conversations with Freud. Despite this minor quibble, I enjoyed this and it helped establish an atmosphere for my class readings.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2013
I'm with those who felt indifferent to this. Nothing awful to hate, but nothing to think wow, great movie. One off view was more than enough for me.
Keira's acting is maybe slightly overdone at the beginning. I do like her, but not so much in this role.
Overall movie is a little dry and dull for my taste the.
Super Reviewer
June 3, 2013
The acting is above average, but not great. Even if the story is true, it's still uninspiring -- and frankly, I was bored. The costumes, hair and lighting were all high-quality.
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2011
Slow moving, but a good script, excellent performances and beautiful cinematography. An effectively understated portrayal of two of the most dynamic men of the early 20th century: Sigmund Freud, the undisputed pioneer of the exploration of the unconscious, and Carl Jung, who went a step or two further. The dialogue imagined here between these two extraordinary men was interesting to watch. A good quiet afternoon movie...
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2011
Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them.

An Ok Film! I really expected more by this movie, I expected more pathos, but unfortunately it proved scarcely involving and too rational. Nothing to say against the perfect technical execution, and the good acting, but what is disappointing is the screenplay, which should have been, in my opinion, the most significant element of the picture. Dialogues are flat, too rationally aimed at conveying an encyclopedic definition of psychoanalysis, but incapable of conveying empathy towards any of the three main characters, Jung, Freud and Sabine Spielrein. It's a movie that seems to promise plenty, seems to be always on the verge of revealing something, but never takes off, as if the director wanted to keep a distance from the handled subject, as if afraid of being swept away by the abyss of the human complex mind. Or maybe because the complexity is too great to be thoroughly revealed? Overall, I feel like this film would have been better if it had been longer. If the film had a running time of even two hours, compared to one and a half, more character development could have been inserted, particularly for Freud. In addition, more focus on Jung's relationship with Freud, rather than his relationship with Spielrein, would have been nice to see.

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2013
Taking place in the decade leading up to WWI, this period piece/historical fiction is as standoffish and mannered as the era it represents. Director David Cronenberg does not fail to show us sexual fetishes, and the "madness" of Jung's patient Sabina Spielrein, but somehow it all comes off as sterile as a psychoanalysis session (although a beautifully filmed one).

I was originally taken by the intellectual arguments between Jung and his hero/mentor Sigmund Freud, but by the end of the film it all seemed an overblown bit of psycho babble for me - all self important and really coming down to nothing special at all.

I blame the script and direction for this, as really the performances, especially that of Vigo Mortenson as Freud, were top notch; even if Kiera Knighly's Spielrein seemed too bi-polar for my tastes and her mad mannerisms didn't seem to fit her illness.

Taking into consideration that a fair part of the story involves Jung's dream of feeling trapped by his wife and children, this still didn't give Cronenberg license to rinse and repeat - 2 years later another child is born. Followed by a scene marked as "a year later in Vienna", followed by "a year later another.... You get the idea.

I'm truly vexed over what could have been here - and I really wanted this film to shine; but in spite of the fascinating subject matter concerning these two titans of psychoanalysis I'm left feeling that there was so much more to be had here than the story presented, and more so, the way it was presented.

I'm also not completely sold in Cronenberg's depiction of Jung as some kind of psychic channelor - able to reach into the great beyond for portents of upcoming events. To me this seemed like an easy way to explore the differences in Freud's practices and the theorums that Jung was to later expouse. Add that the great schism between the two minds held very little drama and the interplay between doctor and patient (who later became a doctor in her own right) lacked any sense of urgency or pathos and you get a film that, while interesting in part, overall suffered from too much navel contemplation.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2012
I can't honestly say that I was disappointed by this movie, because going in I didn't know what to expect. I don't think that David Cronenberg actually puts any stock in psychoanalysis, but he believes in sexual perversion, and how psychological and personal each person's deviant little kink can be. I really like the way that sexuality underpins everything about the characters in this movie, just like it would if the world existed exactly the way Freud and Jung describe. No wonder they think it does. I should say that I have a bit of a soft spot for period pieces about repressed horndogs (a huge genre, it turns out), but this movie was neither stupendous nor terrible.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2011
I must say, for a film about Freud, Jung, and psychoanalysis directed by David Cronenberg, this is really surprisingly reserved and low key. And, despite feeling a little disappointed by the end result, this is still a decent enough straightforward tale done with class and sophistication.

Sometimes I really like getting something unexpected, since I figured this would go all out, but instead I'm left somewhat indifferent. In a way, this film is kinda boring, and I only learned somewhat more than I already knew aout the people and the subject matter, but the production values are top notch, the film looks great, and the performances are okay enough.

Well, Keira Knightley kinda overdoes it with the hysterical shrieking, but when she's not doing that, she's fine. Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung however are awesome. Viggo wasn't initially who I wanted to see do the part, but he's good. I mean, he's never given a bad performance. Vincent Cassel has a couple of good moments, but I think he was misused or underused.

Overall, even though this wasn't a total letdown, it really isn't as compelling or exciting as it should have been.

Super Reviewer
July 5, 2012
Not as captivating as the trailer showed. The beginning seemed a bit forced and I didn't particularly like Knightley's portrayal. The acting wasn't bad but the plot could've been a bit more... oh I don't know. I just expected more complexity or something.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2012
I hate your acting Keira Knightly! Viggo and Michael carried you all throughout the film, enough said! The film had its beautiful moments between Freud and Jung but the romance falls flat and seems hollow at times.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2011
True Story
Super Reviewer
June 4, 2012
Keira KnightlEy sucks -- and always has -- and so has and does Viggo Mortenson -- but I knew that before I rented this, so I am the ultimate sucks-er.I really am the proverbial glutton for punishment. Yeeeee gods . . .
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2012
A riveting, extremely well-acted look at the brilliant minds of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and how each gets caught up in a case involving a striking but emotionally unstable patient (Keira Knightley). This is not a typical gross-out, ultra-violent David Cronenberg film, which is nice since this is a story that does not require that type of film-maker. Instead, this is a largely straight-forward look at two phenomenally gifted men, and how each was unable to sacrifice their ego to help develop their friendship, ultimately becoming fractured due to a large dose of narcissism and pride on each of their parts. Knightley is absolutely phenomenal in this film as the troubled patient, as her body motions and facial expressions capture a world of hell no person would want to reside in. Mortensen and Fassbender are also excellent in their respected parts. The film is largely a dialogue-driven fest with little action thrown in to spice things up once in a while, so at times it inescapably bogs down. However, it is still definitely a fine movie that is worthwhile due to the splendid acting and well-detailed story it contains.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2010
Cast: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon, André Hennicke, Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey, Mignon Remé

Director: David Cronenberg

Summary: In this David Cronenberg-helmed biopic, Viggo Mortensen stars as Sigmund Freud, whose relationship with fellow psychology luminary Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) is tested when Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), one of the first female psychoanalysts, enters their lives. This World War I-set drama also stars Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross, a disciple of Freud, and Sarah Gadon, who plays Jung's psychoanalyst wife.

My Thoughts: "There is no denying that this film has a fantastic cast of brilliant actors who did some great acting. But the story just about put me to sleep. I ended up playing a game on my phone for most of it. I just couldn't find an inch of myself caring about the story or it's characters. Michael Fassender and Viggo Mortensen were great together on screen and made me take notice. But the rest was just blah. I guess it is one of those films that are for some and not for others."
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2012
David Cronenberg's historical biopic is about as interesting as it is disturbing. Both aspects are usually rife throughout a Cronenberg film. But many of his techniques are still missing, like the gore. But adaptability never hurt anyone. The acting is as good as ever, except Knightley's character evokes no sympathy whatsoever, mostly because she is extremely annoying. Despite this lack of pathos, the story and dialogue between the worlds' greatest psychoanalysts is insanely intriguing.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2012
Despite the underlying topic of sexuality, the undertaking is surprisingly retrained for a film by David Cronenberg. Low key account is straightforward and quiet. That's surprising in a drama where unconventional sexual impulses and sadomasochistic tendencies essentially form the basis of the story. I struggled to maintain interest at times. It's a movie where the very discussion of ideas is supposed to be more shocking rather than the actual depiction of anything scandalous. Talky cerebral approach is admirable for its sophistication. I give the film credit for subtlety and precision, but it's also kind of routine. See it for Keira Knightly. If not for her presence, the whole affair would have been rather forgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2011
A strong drama from Cronenberg. As a narrative its not a perfect endeavor, but it succeeds in capturing it's period perfectly and feature a pair of terrific performances. People say Knightley was over the top; I thought it was possibly the best bit of acting of her career..
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2010
A genuine "psychological drama" about Karl Jeung (Michael Fassbender) and his transformative relationships with a patient (Keira Knightley) and his mentor, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). A Dangerous Method is an interesting movie (which is not at all dry as the subject matter might initially indicate to some) with an excellent cast, but unfortunately it fizzles a bit at the end with a less than compelling final act.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2012
Sigmund Freud: Experiences like this, however painful, are necessary and inevitable; without them, how can we know life? 

"Based on the true story of Jung, Freud, and the patient who came between them."

A Dangerous Method had some interesting material, but I was never really absorbed into the movie like I should have been. In fact, I don't think I really even liked it at all. My rating comes purely because of the great performances from Knightley, Fassbender, and Mortenson. Also the film is just really well made, technically speaking. It looks good as a period piece and all the sets are well done. Still, underwhelmed is the perfect word for how I feel about A Dangerous Method. 

This was unlike any Cronenberg film I have seen. Most of the movies I have seen from him had something to do with either the horror or sci-fi genres and many times both. This one is far, far away, story wise, from the films that started got him his start. So while this didn't really have anything in common with the other movies I've seen from him, I still managed to feel the same way I did after a great majority of his films. Most of the time I'm at least a little disappointed, with the one notable exception begin Videodrome. Now to be fair, I haven't seen some of his most praised films like Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, or Scanners; but the ones I have seen haven't really impressed me. 

Cronenberg obviously has a large amount of talent as a director. He always picks extremely interesting projects, and he always makes them in a very professional way. I'm just waiting to see one of his movies that will really blow me away, and A Dangerous Method unfortunately wasn't that. Still a good effort from Cronenberg and everyone involved though.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2012
David Croneberg's A Dangerous Method takes a look at the birth of psychoanalysis. A Dangerous Method is an engaging period drama with a terrific cast. Every actor here is perfect for the parts they play. Keira Knightley gives one of the most eccentric and unsettling performances of her career. Michael Fassbender as usual delivers a great performance. A Dangerous Method is a great period piece that recounts the birth of psychoanalysis. Cronenberg has made a career out of the body horror genre, but this is a very different departure for Cronenberg. I very much enjoyed the film, and though the story was suffering a bit, the acting is what made this film watchable. Brilliantly acted and directed, A Dangerous Method is a film that recount an important event in the field of psychology. The film has some effective dramatic moments that make this film stand out. The performances are a key reason to why this film is so good. Add to that a very good story and you have a memorable film worth watching. I thought that this film was fairly underrated and thought it deserved a lot more acclaim. This is one of David Cronenberg's best films since eXistenZ. If you're a fan of Croneberg's work, then check out A Dangerous Method. Of all the films that David Cronenberg has made, this is one of his more accessible works. Brilliantly acted with an engaging plot, A Dangerous Method is a powerful drama that is a definite must see.
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