A Dangerous Method

( 2 )

Overview

Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender star in director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The year is 1904. Carl Jung Fassbender, a disciple of Sigmund Freud Mortensen, is using Freudian techniques to treat Russian-Jewish psychiatric patient Sabina Spielrein Keira Knightley at Burghölzli Mental Hospital. But the deeper Jung's relationship with Spielrein grows, the further the burgeoning psychiatrist and his ...
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Overview

Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender star in director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The year is 1904. Carl Jung Fassbender, a disciple of Sigmund Freud Mortensen, is using Freudian techniques to treat Russian-Jewish psychiatric patient Sabina Spielrein Keira Knightley at Burghölzli Mental Hospital. But the deeper Jung's relationship with Spielrein grows, the further the burgeoning psychiatrist and his highly respected mentor drift apart. As Jung struggles to help his patient overcome some pressing paternal issues, disturbed patient Otto Gross Vincent Cassel sets out to test the boundaries of the doctor's professional resolve. A Dangerous Method screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
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Special Features

Commentary with director David Cronenberg; The making of a Dangerous Method; AFI's Harold Lloyd master seminar with David Cronenberg
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
David Cronenberg making a film about the birth of diagnosing psychosexual dysfunction is as good a pairing of director and subject as anyone could possibly conceive. Unexpectedly, the Canadian auteur's A Dangerous Method deals with the uneasy friendship between Sigmund Freud Viggo Mortensen and Carl Jung Michael Fassbender in purely psychological terms, mostly downplaying the physical expressions of their particular hang-ups. The movie opens with Jung meeting a new patient, Sabina Spielrein Keira Knightley, who seeks help for her seemingly uncontrollable need to have sex when she's humiliated. Jung has read about groundbreaking work being done by Sigmund Freud, and he decides Spielrein would be the ideal patient for him to first attempt to use Freud's new "talking" cure. Their sessions turn out to be fruitful for Spielrein and lead Jung to contact Freud, and soon the men develop a friendly, collegial relationship. However, their mutual admiration is broken when Jung becomes attracted to Spielrein and crosses an ethical line that Freud finds unacceptable. Complicating matters further, Spielrein becomes a savvy therapist in her own right. The performances are uniformly strong. Fassbender is thoroughly engaging and sympathetic as Jung; it's hard to share Freud's growing disgust with his protégé, because Fassbender gives Jung such a strong desire to do the right thing. He wants to help people, and his few personal dalliances feel like the actions of a man who understands he needs to indulge certain peccadilloes in order to help others: Why not spank a willing masochist if it'll help her and you get on with the job at hand? Mortensen delivers yet again for Cronenberg and makes Freud a towering figure, imposing and always confident that he's better than Jung -- a belief that's bitterly ironic when, just before the closing credits roll, we find out where these two men ended up. The duo are ably supported by Knightley, who is better once she can shed the facial tics her character suffers from in the movie's opening scenes, and the always earthy Vincent Cassel as Otto, an unapologetic hedonist whom Freud asks Jung to treat. Kinky sex and mental instability have been recurring themes for Cronenberg for years, but the sex in his films is very rarely sensual and always an expression of his characters' darkest impulses. Think back to the twin gynecologists in Dead Ringers or James Spader's role in Cronenberg's adaptation of the novel Crash for just two examples. A Dangerous Method puts a unique spin on this by featuring characters who are fully aware of why they have the kinks they do. This self-knowledge doesn't stop them from acting on their impulses, but it does make them feel an acute guilt that's usually absent from Cronenberg's movies. It's such a mature, talky film that people might feel let down that Cronenberg didn't run with the more outlandish aspects of this true story, but what makes A Dangerous Method unique among his movies is its examination of self-examination. Jung isn't overcome with remorse for his actions; he understands that his kinks are a part of him, albeit a part that he knows must be controlled though certainly not eliminated. This cerebral approach may leave some viewers cold, since for all of the amazing events that transpire during the course of the film, there really isn't much of a character arc for Jung -- he gets smarter, but he doesn't change. But for those who appreciate seeing Cronenberg continue to evolve, to turn what is usually the subtext of his films into the actual text, A Dangerous Method becomes a singular entry in the master's remarkable career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/27/2012
  • UPC: 043396395008
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:39:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 3,960

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Keira Knightley Sabina Spielrein
Viggo Mortensen Sigmund Freud
Michael Fassbender Carl Jung
Vincent Cassel Otto Gross
Sarah Gadon Emma Jung
André Hennicke Professor Eugen Bleuler
Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey Sándor Ferenczi
Mignon Reme Jung's Secretary
Mareike Carriere Food Nurse
Franziska Arndt Bath Nurse
Wladimir Matuchin Nikolai Spielrein
André Dietz Medical Policeman
Anna Thalbach Bathtub Patient
Sarah Marecek Orchard Nurse
Björn Geske Orderly
Markus Haase Orderly
Christian Serritiello Ship's Officer
Clemens Giebel Ship's Steward
Theo Meller Karl Abraham
Jost Grix Leonhard Seif
Severin von Hoensbroech Johan van Ophuijsen
Torsten Knippertz Ernest Jones
Dirk S. Greis Franz Riklin
Katharina Palm Martha Freud
Nina Azizi Minna Bernays
Julie Chevallier Anna Freud
Cynthia Cosima Sophie Freud
Mirko Guckeisen Ernst Freud
Julia Mack Mathilde Freud
Andrea Magro Jean Freud
Aaron Keller Oliver Freud
Nadine Salomon Maid at Freud's House
Naike Jaszczyk Agathe Jung
Sarah Adams Gret Jung
Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director
Dierdre Bowen Casting
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Christopher Hampton Screenwriter
Martin F. Katz Co-producer
Stephan Mallmann Executive Producer
Richard Mansell Associate Producer
James McAteer Production Designer
Marco Mehlitz Co-producer
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer, Musical Arrangement
Karl Spoerri Executive Producer
Thomas Sterchi Executive Producer
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Peter Watson Executive Producer
Matthias Zimmermann Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Okay

    Some of the acting was alright and other times, not so much. Movie was okay.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews