New Release: ‘A Dangerous Method’

A Dangerous Method (Sony) was overlooked at Oscar time but David Cronenberg’s superb screen version of Christopher Hampton’s play about the friendship and eventual split between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung is a sharp, lucid, perceptive film about the rational and irrational sides of human behavior.

“An intellectual ménage-a-trois,” is how Cronenberg describes the troika at the center of the film: Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, a respected young doctor eager to pursue “the talking cure” promoted by Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and Keira Knightly as the troubled Sabina Spielrein, whose hysteria is conquered through therapy and she becomes a doctor in her own right. Ideas and emotions are always at play and in conflict as they follow their own paths, and all three performers carve out committed performances of driven characters expressing themselves within the confines of social decorum. Acknowledging the passions and desires and egos within is not necessarily the same as embracing them.

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Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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