A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method

Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein as his patient in A Dangerous Method. Jung's weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud. Both men fall under Sabina's spell. 3.1 out of 5 based on 19 reviews
A Dangerous Method

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Biography, Drama, Thriller
Director David Cronenberg
Cast Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel Viggo Mortensen
Studio Lionsgate UK
Release Date February 2012
Running Time 93 mins
 

Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, the driven Dr. Carl Jung takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein as his patient in A Dangerous Method. Jung's weapon is the method of his master, the renowned Sigmund Freud. Both men fall under Sabina's spell.

Reviews

The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Even its sexual adventures are shown with a clinical detachment, and there is a droll undercurrent of black comedy. Cronenberg is usually associated with body horror, but the nearest this film comes to anything of the kind is Keira Knightley's facial contortions playing Sabina Spielrein at the height of her mental turmoil ... As she screeches and yelps, Sabina's lower jaw is shoved out what looks like a couple of feet with a lower row of teeth jutting jaggedly upwards, like Ridley Scott's Alien when it comes out of John Hurt's stomach.

09/02/2012

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Total Film

Kevin Harley

Cronenberg’s films get under the skin via ideas, not just gore. So it is with this well-upholstered chamber drama.

30/01/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

Engrossing, [an] admirably acted new film, A Dangerous Method, takes an objective, historical look at the early days of psychoanalysis and the people.

12/02/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

The cast are all spot-on, but Knightley steals the movie with a superb performance as the brilliant and hysterical Sabina.

12/02/2012

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Channel 4 Film

Rebecca Davies

Far from perfect, but its imperfections are grist to the mill of its appeal. It falls into the rare category of films that don't start very well but improve as they go. It's talky, but the talk is obsessed with the physical.

10/02/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan

It helps that Cronenberg has cast both Jung and Freud slightly against type. It's fascinating to see the exceptionally charismatic Fassbender squeeze himself into the role of the aristocratic, restrained Jung, and it's just as enjoyable to see Mortensen bring an unexpected virility to his sybaritic, cigar-chomping Freud.

23/11/2011

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

In various combinations and in shifting roles, Sabina, Jung and Freud are engaged in an expedition into the uncharted territory of the unconscious. Jung and his patient, in particular, do so with a sense of novelty and risk. The feeling of stepping into terra incognita makes A Dangerous Method something of an adventure story. It also at times has the quiet, uncanny mood of a horror movie, albeit one whose monsters are invisible, living inside the souls they menace.

22/11/2011

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Stimulation comes out most forcefully in the scenes between Freud and Jung. Christopher Hampton’s script isn’t scared of bombarding us with wonderfully erudite exchanges between these two men. Of course, it helps that both Fassbender and Mortensen – whose playful chomping on a cigar feels like the closest Cronenberg is going to get to a sustained visual joke – make their verbal jousting so fascinating to watch.

09/02/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

What’s odd, for Cronenberg, is how the film can feel like an advert for buttoned-down restraint rather than danger or release. Spotlessly organised, it’s an exercise the director knows he can pull off without breaking a sweat. Are we allowed to prefer him sweaty?

09/02/2012

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

The theatrical origins of A Dangerous Method are evident in the script’s series of conversations, interrupted by walks outdoors and a spot of spanking à deux. The Cronenbergian blood might be limited to a close-up of Spielrein’s underwear after Jung takes her virginity, but if we’re wondering where [the film] fits in the director’s career, maybe we could see this as a late-career primer for newcomers to the Canadian’s heady and subversive filmography?

06/02/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

This film is full of ego, and “the cauldron of seething excitations” which is the id. The super-ego doesn’t stand a chance until the end, which is a bit of a wash-out.

10/02/2012

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Empire Magazine

William Thomas

It’s all very intelligent and moderately informative — but just ever so slightly dull.

06/02/2012

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Ostensibly about profound intellectual history but as a drama is largely inert, a stuffed shirt of a film ... Worth seeing for Keira, though.

10/02/2012

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

The picture is light but not lightweight, with a richness of feeling from its performers ... The pacing is so brisk that it comes as a surprise when Freud and Jung's final showdown is so fraught and affecting; it seems plausible that someone's head will pop right there in the drawing room in a reprise of Cronenberg's Scanners. That, I suppose, would be the birth of psychoanalysis in a nutshell, one person's expanded mind being another person's exploding head.

09/02/2012

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Variety

Justin Chang

Even as the story settles into an epistolary structure, it seems to run along an unbroken current of ideas, and the two male leads bring a bone-dry wit to this battle of wills and egos. Signaling both intelligence and naivete from behind his spectacles, Fassbender makes Jung a highly suggestible figure prone to blurring the lines between doctor and patient. And Mortensen's Freud, a sardonic, ineffably sinister presence who rarely raises his voice above a silky-smooth purr, calmly steals the picture.

02/09/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

The film never really establishes the stakes of the drama. No doubt Cronenberg is expressly flouting a tradition of films about psychoanalysis that are excessive and overtly dream-like. But this decorous, if visually beautiful, piece feels too repressed to breathe.

12/02/2012

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The New Yorker

David Denby

Mostly a stately dud.

13/10/2011

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Is it time to call time on this kind of biographical movie, weighted with dialogue while neutered by respectfulness, even amid the “daring” dance of its themes? When you start to feel nostalgic for the late Ken Russell, you know something is wrong... 

09/02/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Freud vs Jung: Celebrity Shrink Smackdown was probably not a title David Cronenberg considered while making this drama about the twin pioneers of psychoanalysis, though for all its scrupulous balance and methodical explanation a small pep-pill of vulgarity might not have gone amiss ... Cronenberg has mostly forsaken his extravagant parables of outward mutation for searching enquiries into inner turmoil, and A Dangerous Method goes back to basics, an earnest, sombre and pretty stifling picture about divergent philosophies of the mind.

10/02/2012

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