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A Dangerous Method

A movie directed by David Cronenberg.

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Too methodical to be dangerous

  • Dec 9, 2011


Written by Christopher Hampton

Directed by David Cronenberg

Starring Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen


Otto Gross: If there is one thing I’ve learned in my short life, it’s this: Never repress anything.


Canadian director, David Cronenberg, is synonymous with exploring sexuality and psychology on screen. In his latest epic, A DANGEROUS METHOD, he lets our minds get lost amidst these two forces as they intersect in Austria during the birth of modern psychology. What should have been an explosion of intense thought and tantalizing eroticism unfortunately amounts to little more than awkward conversation.


Like so much of psychoanalysis, some things make perfect sense on the page but do not necessarily apply past the theory. On paper, A DANGEROUS METHOD should work. Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, who engages in a father-son like relationship with Sigmund Freud, played by three-time Cronenberg collaborator, Viggo Mortensen. Freud’s beliefs surrounding psychological trauma tended to be sexual in nature and this would inevitably cause an irreparable rift between them as Jung thought there had to be more to it than that. The situation was only further exacerbated by Jung’s own affair with one of his own patients, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). The two enter a kinky relationship that really only proves Freud’s point but men being men, neither will admit any fault.


A DANGEROUS METHOD is aptly performed by its talented cast and beautifully shot and composed but it never truly comes alive. Considering the film itself is about repression, it certainly feels as though it could have used some loosening up. Instead, its tightly wound setting and nature eventually lead to its own unravelling.

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December 09, 2011
This one isn't playing nearby yet, but I will make sure to see this as soon as it does. I like Cronenberg and I like those alone are enough to get me to see it. Thanks, Joseph. Btw, you were so right about Cooper's performance in "The Devil's Double"...
More A Dangerous Method reviews
review by . April 29, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    How you feel about David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" is dependent the most on just how much you know about the topic of the film, psychoanalysis. Those who work closely in the field as profession are likely to write it off as inaccurate and unconvincing, while those who know most of the basics and at least some of the complexities would be expected to enjoy and embrace the film with open arms, as I did. Starting off, I don't know too much about psychoanalysis …
review by . November 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         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 …
review by . November 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'A Dangerous Method' 'Two Jews On Film' Only One Is Psyched By Cronenberg's Latest
      By Joan Alperin-Schwartz      Sigmund Freud...Carl Jung...So what comes to mind when you hear these two names?...Certainly not, the director David Cronenberg. who's more known for making twisted, dark horror/scifi('The Brood', 'Scanners' 'The Fly) than cerebral relationship dramas.      But with his new film, 'A Dangerous Method' that's about to change.  This is the story of three people...Sigmund …
Quick Tip by . January 06, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Hello there!    Anyone interested in a little extra insight into A DANGEROUS METHOD, should check out my interview with director, DAVID CRONENBERG here:    Thanks for reading!
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #8
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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