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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon March 28, 2012
This film is a kind of triple biopic, recreating a crucial period in the lives of psychoanalytic pioneers Freud, Jung and Sabina Spielrein in a manner that shows great respect for historical accuracy. But the interplay between the three, as played by Mortenson, Fassbender and Knightley, is so riveting that it comes across as a subtle and moving psychological masterpiece, not a museum piece.

I came to it having read a bit of Freud and a bit more of Jung, and was vaguely acquainted with their points of disagreement, but i was completely unprepared for the revelation of how their respective theories were shaped by their relationships, especially by Jung's relationship with Spielrein. Christopher Hampton's concise script and Cronenberg's impeccable direction create a vivid space in which the three leads, along with Sarah Gadon as Jung's wife and Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross, become living personalities grappling with challenges that are no less real today. It all looks beautiful on blu-ray, too! The result is a hugely entertaining film, and one you'll want to see again, just to witness (and maybe share in) the titanic struggles of soul that both Spielrein and Jung went through.

I've loved Cronenberg's more far-out creations such as Videodrome, The Fly, and Naked Lunch, but i'd have to say this is his best work yet. There's not much in the way of extras on this disk, but the edited interviews with him and the actors show how he's honed his art to the point that he's in complete control but also has complete trust in his actors. This is the perfect story for that kind of technique, as it creates just the right atmosphere for the whole film -- in a way, it's all about the psychological ambiguities and ambivalences of control (including self-control). A flawless work of art about people with fascinating flaws.
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on October 10, 2015
Superb movie
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2013
Keira what more is there to be said. Everytime I watch one of her movies I'm more amazed. This movie was awesome.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
I recall an old playwright commenting on modern films movies or culture that novels and films are built around shootings,divorce courts and detective stories but there is not intellectual entertainment which really concerns life. Well this seems kind of highbrow and though it is correct life is very complex we must make a story to appeal i guess to the attention level of the average person. I wonder in regards to leisure how much the average person reads. I mention this solely since the director Cronenburg has admitted this is not an average filmed aimed at an average audience but an intellectual film,rather than intellectual i would say a story about the inner life of characters dramatized to reveal psychological insights rather than a typical tv show or motion picture. As far as i'm concerned i'm interested in entertainment whether highbrow or lowbrow a good film can entertain and not entertain at both levels. This film certainly is highbrow...and it was originally taken up by julia roberts and was going to be made by her but for some reason nothing came of it. It was supposedly based on a book. It deals with a Russian student/patient/lover of sorts to jung,someone who was eventually to set up a psychoanalytic clinic in the soviet union,and her relations with Jung and the story is surprising. Jung was a psychiatrist who was around freud's circle,and certainly the most famous next to him,and he in turn arouses her seduces her and analyzes her
(and very much controls her!!)but from her perspectivd does this to bring about states in her,and it is not typical talk therapy. We do not know whether he received payment,making this certainly troublesome to figure out,and he also seduces her. He may have become suspicous of Freud,who he thinks may have developed an intellectual relationship with the same 'patient' almost like an intellectual companion which was his penchant,entertaining and relating to her on an intellectual level...and jung may be jealous since he has achieved a more lasting and fulfilling union than his more sensual arousal. This is the Jung who would later develop a religious therapy as opposed to the more rational perspective of Freud. This Freud is often criticized as well since the transgression of therepeutic morals here evinced by Jung,the director says may also have been transgressed by Freud,for is not his intellectual relationship a kind of union,though not sexual,just as bad as a friend-companion of this young girl. Vicarious emotional states are certainly important for any patient,and are just a simportant as more conscious states. The director also comments on the freudian link between sex and death as in old age,and how the unconscious mind often devolves into barbarity as evinced in world war 1. A problem of an over extended id. The director seems well read on the subject and has a great number of films in his repertoir and its interesting to look at this canadian director,but that's not why i've watched his films they are entertaining and goes uver ground not covered by others, making it fresh and appealing. The commentaries are very erudite in a film of a kind of menage a trois of sorts,also interesting you will find discussions of fathers over identifying with daughters,greek plays and the split of freud-jung. Freud in a way saw jung's behavior out of step with the actual experience,too intense experientially,like he was reacting against him like a father rather than in a proper sense....the title comes from a quote by william james,the brother of henry james. A point of all this which i found strange,was how the young student was able to keep a straight head between the two learned professors,and the commentator talks of whether this kind or relationship between patient and therapist of a sexual nature is illegal,not to mention the sending of phone calls and emails you never know who can get them,and the way people bond at different emotional levels or not bonding at all after a sensual experience,and allows us to see which therapy is the better therapy,of course freud would say he is talking its the patient in talk who may be aroused...a difficult subject and i think there are kernels of truth to be gleaned from both therapists,probably more from freud. Although the commentator negates jung's entry into religion as more religious than psychological,is not freud's negation of religious truth the same fatal error,for it equally posits a metaphysical truth of his own which intrudes into therapy,...its best to understand the patients own religous views and solely that,no therapist has a right to impose a positive or a negative religious truth which is important to them,into the patient's mind...i find both wrong in this area and its an area of their work i avoid...atheism and christianity are both religions!!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2012
Best Pirate of the Carribean yet! It's much better without Jack Sparrow, oceans, boats or Legolas. I also didn't know Elizabeth Swann was into being smacked around. Bring your tissues.
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