Excerpt: A story about repressed psychologists is probably one of the great clichés of modern storytelling. I imagine it took maybe a month or two after psychoanalysis became well known before the first story along those lines was published. And no one ever accused writers of meeting a cliché they didn't like, so naturally it has stayed with us.
Excerpt: I’m sure that we all remember our high school Psychology class and no doubt the name Sigmund Freud comes to mind (pardon the pun) when thinking of Psychology or Psychiatry. A quick note: the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist is that the latter is a physician who went to medical school (an M.D.) whereas the other has a Ph.D. So while both are “doctors”, the Psychiatrist is the one who can prescribe medication and so forth.
Excerpt: In an important scene in A Dangerous Method , Freud compares himself to Christopher Columbus. His point is that Columbus didn't know what he discovered, but he knew something was there. Freud feels the same way; he doesn't know where he is with psychoanalysis, but he knows that the things he studies are there. The comparison is almost too good. Both Columbus and Freud were brave men who helped usher in a new age for their cultures.
Conclusion: I found this movie fascinating, and I’m not even all that interested in psychoanalysis. It just goes to show what a film can do for its characters when it isn't all that obsessed with running us through a rigid plot structure. There are three great performances here. It's definitely worth watching, especially with the spot on audio and video provided by Sony. Recommended.
Excerpt: When David Cronenberg first started directing, he made movies about characters so out of touch with the workings of their own minds that their repressed fears and desires started to take fleshly form. With A Dangerous Method , he focuses on characters concerned almost exclusively with the way minds process fears and desires, and finds them not much happier, or even less repressed.
Excerpt: David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is a film that grows upon reflection; even considering the filmmaker's more austere recent efforts, it is a picture that the viewer keeps waiting to ignite, and never quite does. But it nestles itself into the mind, where its quirks and complexities continue to reverberate long after the credits have rolled.
Summary: Even for an adaptation of a play called The Talking Cure , the characters in David Cronenberg’s latest don’t half blather. Whether by lecture or letter, at the dinner table or in the bedroom, they’re endlessly intellectualising. At one point Freud (Mortensen) asks his protégé Jung (Fassbender) if he realises they’ve been chatting for 13 hours. The audience won’t be so surprised.
Conclusion: Despite a top-notch cast performing well, and bravely in the case of Knightley, this is an austere, somewhat repressed movie. It never really gets under the skin in the way Cronenberg does at his best.