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Plot: 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. Runtime: 99 mins Release Date: 29 Sep 2011
Adapted by Academy Award-Winning Writer Christopher Hampton from his 2002 stage play The Talking Cure, 'A Dangerous Method' is a Well-Directed & Brilliantly Acted film! It's edgy, fierce, no-holds-barred & gripping, with Performances, that are no less than extra-ordinary! 'A Dangerous Method' Synopsis: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.'A Dangerous Method' deals with the MIND & its inner demons. I loved this film, because, it unfolds so fearlessly. It never compromises & stays <more>
absolutely true to its story. Cinematically, the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, comes across as uninhibited & ruthless.Christopher Hampton's Screenplay is uninhibited & gripping. It never loses pace & unfolds fearlessly. David Cronenberg's Direction is Well-Done & very much in sink with the story. A Special Mention for Peter Suschitzky's Striking Cinematography.Performance-Wise: Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud, leads the show with a Masterful Performance. It's a stellar performance, that deserved Mortensen an Oscar-Nod. Mortensen, once again proves, how versatile & interesting he can be, when it comes to holding & executing a character! Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, delivers a natural performance. Fassbender is emerging into a very fine actor. Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, does a very credible job. Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross, is superb. Sarah Gadon as Emma Jung, delivers a stand-out performance, as well.On the whole, 'A Dangerous Method' is a winner.
I loved this film, accurate portrayal of hysteria by Knightley (by bronweis)
I really don't understand the "keira hating" reviews. I thought she is Oscar worthy in the film. I suppose one might have guessed, thought, believed she was over-acting. I watched this film with a psychiatrist friend who said he has a patient EXACTLY LIKE THIS. Meaning: Keira's performance was spot-on. Knightly is moving and the depiction of a madly hysterical, disturbed person as very visceral, and quite disturbing. But then again- HYSTERIA IS DISTURBING. My favorite scenes in this movie are Jung and the newly cured Speilrein are seated afar from the river and Speilrein <more>
Knightley gives young a rather forward advance indicating that if Jung Michael Fassbender should ever decide to act upon their close relationship he can find her "up there" pointing to her apartment. And then another favorite scene is when Jung Fassbender hires Speilrein Knightley to work assisting in his research. Unbeknownst to Speilrein, she is recording data in an interview of Jung's wife.
"A Dangerous Method" is a safe bet. (by dhaufrect-1)
David Cronenberg has directed a truly educational experience in "A Dangerous Method", a book by John Kerr and screenplay by Christopher Hampton. The greatest attribute of this film is the education that it brings to the screen making it available to such a wide audience. The cast is an outstanding one filled with believability and intensity that persists throughout the film. Keira Knightley plays Sabina Spielrein, the hysterical patient of Carl Jung. Her performance is perfection itself and she deserves great credit for her portrayal of an intensely hysterical woman who overcomes <more>
her clinical problems only to become involved with her psychoanalyst teacher. Carl Jung is played by Michael Fassbender and he too is convincing as the student of Freud, and a creative thinker in the embryonic stages of psychoanalysis. Viggo Mortensen is an ideal choice for the character of Sigmund Freud, and one can learn a great deal about the political, sexual, and professional risks these people all took in the early 1920's and 1930's. Emma Jung is played by Sarah Gadon, and she too deserves credit for a sensitive portrayal of Jung's loyal and caring wife. And finally one must include Vincent Cassel as the patient of Jung, who changes his moral thinking and produces a schism between Jung and Dr. Freud. This is a real safe winner of a film and should not be missed by fans of the history of psychoanalysis.
I would like to see director David Cronenberg still working in the horror genre which made him famous during the '70s and the '80s, but the truth is that his transition to the dramatic cinema has been brining very good results from the artistic point of view, even though not from the economical one. His film A Dangerous Method is a clear example...the subject is abstract and cerebral, the rhythm from the story is too slow in order to satisfy the requirements from commercial cinema, and even though this film could have been an intense romantic drama, Cronenberg decided to bring the <more>
film his habitual clinical coldness. The result is a film I liked very much, even though I perfectly understand the complaints some people had against it.Independently of the credit brought by the spectator to the technique of the psychoanalysis, or to the respective theories from Sigmund Freud 1856-1939 and Carl Jung 1875-1961 , A Dangerous Method is a fascinating study of their points of view, perfectly expressed by two actors who take an absolute possession of their characters. Sure, I couldn't have expected less from Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, who both bring adequately sober and modulated works. Keira Knightley is totally expressive and passionate in her role; I was particularly left astonished by the extraordinary scene shared by Knightley's character and Jung's wife brilliantly interpreted by Sarah Gadon , which is full of subtext we have to cypher through both actresses' faces. The conversations between Jung and Freud are also among the best elements from the film, even though many idea exchanges were made by mail; as a consequence, Cronenberg and his cast faced the difficult homework of loading all the dramatic weight on static images of Jung and Freud reading letters...scenes which are technically easy, but narratively complicated. And the amazing thing is that they work wonderfully well.I understand why some people found A Dangerous Method to be a superficial film, since Cronenberg's coldness stifles the vehemence from the story, and might avoid some people to getting "plunged" into it, as it could be expected in a more conventional "romantic triangle" or it might be better to say "academic triangle" . However, I think my personal sensibility is more similar to Cronenberg's, and that's the reason why I prefer to watch a cold and intelligent biographical movie such as A Dangerous Method, instead of an artificial and manipulative one such as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man . I also liked the screenplay from A Dangerous Method, because it's very well structured, and it's full of brilliant conversations which educate us without proposing that to themselves, and which are more captivating due to their precision than due to their eloquence. In conclusion, A Dangerous Method is an excellent film, and I enthusiastically recommend it because it's entertaining and it left me thinking for a long while after it ended.
Complex subject lightened up for the screen. (by davidtraversa-1)
Have you ever witness a hysterical person having a crisis? I haven't, probably neither have you. Could that be the reason why to some reviewers including myself the histrionics of Keira Knightley as a hysterical patient were embarrassing to watch on the screen? I don' know. Probably real hysteria looks like that but in daily life a witness won't feel what a film viewer feels when being forced to watch incessantly all those facial and body contortions on close ups.After those first over-sized and over-dramatic scenes, the film takes a very natural tempo either on camera work or <more>
in tone down dialogs, serene outdoor and indoor scenes, making a very well mannered, ultra civilized and fascinating film indeed.The professionalism of everyone involved in it is impeccable and the script sound as it could be for a one and a half hour film explaining to a general public something as complicated as psychoanalysis involving two of the most important personalities of the last century responsible to have revolutionized and changed the course of history in that field for ever after.Some reviewers criticized this movie as elemental, as too basic while I think it wasn't meant for a professional audience of top psychologists, but merely a very good piece of entertainment for the masses and at the same time with modest doses of knowledge about a theme that in general is unknown to the great majority and vastly complicated.Same goes for the criticism of some reviewers about the sex life of these people when it came to show them in bed doing their own Kamasutra. How far did they expected the sex scenes to go? to the point of impregnation of the female and posterior birth as its consequence?I don't know, I think that that was beside the point in this very serious movie and moreover, that kind of titillation should be look for on a different kind of movie. To me this was an excellent movie very fulfilling from all points of view.
This film has a haunting quality that keeps you thinking about it. Although there was plenty of fuss about it before it was released, and despite mixed reviews, the film lives up to expectations â€“ mine at any rate.Keira Knightley is a revelation. As Sabina Spielrein, she is the perfect contrast to Michael Fassbender's Carl Jung and Viggo Mortensen's Sigmund Freud. She is fireworks to their calm introspection and cool detachment; a force of nature, she is one of the catalysts for the rift between the two famous pioneers of psychoanalysis.The movie begins as Freud refers Sabina to <more>
Jung for treatment. She has hang-ups resulting from beatings she received from her father, the humiliation of which excites her sexually. Jung helps her overcome her hysteria by taking her on as a pupil and focusing her energies on psychoanalysis at which she excels. However, they also start an affair despite the fact he is married with a child. The affair revisits the humiliations that were quite literally at the bottom of Sabina's problem; the leather belt is never far from Jung's hand.The movie is set at a time when psychoanalysis was just being accepted as a legitimate branch of medicine. Ironically, although Jung disagrees with Freud's concept that all human endeavour is based on sex, his affair with Sabina develops to the point where sex is about all he has on his mind.Jung knows he has compromised his ethics while at the same time his theories about what makes the human mind tick have diverged dramatically from those of his mentor, Freud. On the other hand, Freud is worried that Jung's theories, with what he feels is a supernatural element, will discredit the fledgling field of psychoanalysis. Their association and friendship ends. But the film isn't really about their theories; it's about the men themselves and the cultural, religious and social differences that also set them apart â€“ even jealousies â€“ despite their supposed understanding of such foibles in others.The movie has other strengths. Vincent Cassel brings his unique intensity to the role of Otto Gross, a fellow psychiatrist and patient of Jung whose obsession with sex has led to a breakdown â€“ again confirming Freud's belief that it really is all about sex.Scores for films don't always enhance the drama as well as Howard Shore's does for this film. For "A Dangerous Method" he created a thoughtful and thematic orchestral score that ebbs and flows as the drama unfolds â€“ his music helps convey what the actors are feeling and thinking.The film ends as Jung and Sabina part. Her fate is detailed matter-of-factly â€“ in much the same way that Alec Guinness's narration at the end of "Doctor Zhivago" told of the fate of Julie Christie's Lara. In both cases the impact is more powerful than if their endings were actually shown â€“ the impression lasts long after the movie has finished.What a fascinating film this is. After all, these people were delving into a realm as mysterious as the bottom of the ocean â€“ the human mind. It's a classy movie with perfect performances all round. No Academy Award nominations? They had to be kidding.
It's always difficult to review a movie based on psychology because sometimes what's difficult to understand is too easily categorized as illogical or bad execution.I heard so much criticism towards the last movie by Cronenberg.I completely disagree with those bad reactions."A dangerous method"is a brilliant ,absorbing and thought provoking movie that boasts excellent performances by the three leading actors.The direction is great and Cronenberg once again shows his uncommon ability to tell a story in a very original way although the dialogs are sometimes hard to <more>
follow,probably due to its subject.But there are really breathtaking moments such as the scenes of the Spielrein therapy.This leads me to Knightley performance.It was a brave,shocking and terrific performance that it was criticized without a reason.I didn't catch all that hatred.She has always been so good "Pride e prejudice","Atonement" and "Never let me go" but here she left her comfort zone to bare herself and gives one of the most exiting performances of the year.Oscar worthy material.Fassbender was equally great in the role of Jung and it's a pleasure to watch this splendid rising A-list actor.Mortensen was good but I fear not as good as Fassbender and Knightley.Cassell is always Cassell.He's a good actor but he plays always the role of the daring man.I think that "A dangerous method" is one of the best movies of the year.It succeeds to transcend from his particular story to focus on the hidden instincts associated with the human nature.My vote is 8/10.
Sabina Spielrein was one of the first female psychoanalysts, a fascinating achievement given the fact that she was committed to a mental institution for an entire year. After studying medicine and child psychology in Zurich, graduating in 1911, and getting elected into the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, she proposed an idea in 1912, namely that the human sexual drive contained both an instinct of destruction and an instinct of transformation. Her death in 1942 at the hands of an SS death squad would all but erase her from the history books until her hospital records, journal entries, and <more>
letters to and from Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud were discovered and published; it's now widely accepted within psychiatric circles that her 1912 proposal greatly influenced the works of both men.Spielrein is one piece of the puzzle in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method." We follow her, Jung, and Freud in a story that examines their complex relationship, which is simultaneously strengthened and threatened by their field of interest. Academically, they recognize the frailties of the human mind and strive to steer others in socially acceptable directions. Personally, they continuously fall victim to the mental weaknesses they so carefully study, and they become increasingly aware that social acceptability doesn't necessarily translate to common practice. Strange, how even those who categorize people into absolutes can themselves fall within ambiguous parameters. Perhaps it's those very absolutes that drive people towards unhealthy behaviors.One focus is the relationship between Jung and Spielrein, which begins in 1904 and develops over the course of nearly a decade. Initially, Jung Michael Fassbender was a fledgling twenty-nine-year-old psychologist, who was married to a gentle but passive woman named Emma Sarah Gadon and was expecting his first child. Spielrein Keira Knightley , Russian-born but able to speak fluent German, was a violent, severely traumatized eighteen-year-old mental patient placed under Jung's care, having been diagnosed with hysteria. Under an experimental form of therapy known as "the talking cure," Jung sits behind Spielrein and listens as she struggles to verbalize her problems. She eventually reveals a childhood marred by beatings and humiliation at the hands of her father. Further sessions unwittingly reveal a sexual proclivity: She becomes uncontrollably aroused by physical force.This discovery brings Jung into the life of his mentor, Freud Viggo Mortensen , as it validates his theory that sexuality and emotional disorders are intertwined. As the years pass, what began as a cordial, clinical acquaintanceship deteriorates into a stubborn clash of ideologies; Jung becomes increasingly bothered by Freud's unwillingness to reconsider his theories about sex, whereas Freud cannot tolerate Jung's growing interest in spirituality. During their initial correspondence, Freud refers Jung to a psychiatrist-turned-patient, Otto Gross Vincent Cassel , a drug addicted hedonist; his arguments against monogamy inspire Jung to violate his code of ethics and begin an affair with Spielrein, which continues long after she ceases to be his patient and enrolls in medical school. This is not merely a physical attraction. He has truly fallen in love with her.I have no way of knowing how historically accurate this film is, given the fact that the relationship between Jung and Spielrein has never been substantiated. There is, however, some compelling evidence of their affair, most notably the fact that, unlike Freud, Jung never publicly acknowledged Spielrein's influence on his work. Rumors of other extramarital affairs also continue to circulate. Given this history, it's easy to see why Jung is portrayed as a weak man in the film â€“ intellectually brilliant but emotionally stunted, consumed by guilt over a situation he could have prevented. He continues having children with his wife, and yet he cannot detach himself from Spielrein, who may be troubled but is also incredibly intelligent and sincere.The screenplay by Christopher Hampton, adapted from his stage play "The Talking Cure" itself adapted from John Kerr's nonfiction book "A Most Dangerous Method" , is well suited for the actors, the dialogue clever, elegant, and packed with emotion. In true psychological form, every line suggests a hidden meaning. This is especially apparent with Freud, portrayed as a piercing intellectual who isn't interested in solutions so much as the underlying problems â€“ which, it seems, all stem from the sexual organs. His scenes with Jung flow like verbal ping pong matches. The scenes with Jung and Spielrein are fascinating in that they're founded on more than curiosity, desire, and passion; they depict the birth of a psychological movement. Herein lies the greatest strength of "A Dangerous Method": It's a film to be listened to and not just watched.-- Chris Pandolfi www.atatheaternearyou.net
I was ambivalent about seeing this film as I know so much about this story of Jung, Sabina and Freud that I can write a book about it myself. My fear was that they made some cheesy Hollywood-like version of the real story and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was not the case. The meaning that the film conveys, in my view, is what the story was in reality-a paradox of how ethical violation and the trauma it caused Sabina co-existed with her healing, how two extraordinary men were so controlled by their egos that it didn't allow them to continue to collaborate, which slowed down <more>
the development of the whole field of psychoanalysis and how this woman Sabina was wiser and more enlightened than two of them combined. The only disappointing element of the film was Emma Jung's character. Their presentation of Emma was nothing like she was in reality and was disrespectful to her as a person, in my opinion. They portrayed her as a little homemaker, who needed nothing else except being a wife and a mother, and this is not even close to who Emma was. She was very ambitious, she was a practicing psychoanalyst herself and she suffered a great deal because of social constraints that didn't allow her to establish herself as a professional. Knightly's performance was superb, Fassbender was good too. Mortensen, in my view, was not the best choice for playing Freud but it didn't spoil the whole experience for me. I hope this film will shake up the psychoanalytic community a little bit.