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on May 7, 2018
Some Cronenberg movies are rather over the top, but you'd never call them dull or uninteresting. Until this. Cronenberg fans be warned — this is a project more suited to the skills of James Ivory. If you imagine the result had Ivory directed "The Fly" or "Eastern Promises" you'll get the picture. For the first few minutes as a screaming, wild-eyed Knightley with distorted facial features is dragged into a Victorian-era asylum it's pure Cronenberg. From then on it's all downhill. In the extras Cronenberg refers to Jung and Freud as "charismatic" and "passionate". Maybe they were, but it doesn't show on screen where Fassbender and Mortensen cannot breathe life into them. The affair between Jung and Spielrein, which occupies much of the film, causes him so much more guilt than passion or pleasure you wonder why he bothered. Was Jung really such a jerk? Was the middle-aged Freud really so detached and supercilious? The one spot of humor is provided by Victor Cassel as Otto Gross who basically psychoanalyses his analyst. At times this seems like a documentary as, after the story of the affair, we skip months and years with the intervening events described only in conversation which often sounds as though it is being read. It's unengaging and only offers a very basic summary of the doctors' conflicting theories. Oh yes, the "dangerous method" of the title refers to the notion of treating patients by having them talk. And do they ever!
Not all is lost: the exteriors, filmed in Vienna, are pretty; the costumes and make-up are first rate; and the design of the credits is pleasing.
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on March 29, 2016
This is the worst I’ve seen “Keira Knightley Act, the pushing of the bottom jaw made me more scared in
the weirdest possible way, she was trying way too hard to play this deep mental anxiety patient, of which
the story was based on, did not work for me at all it’s way too short for my taste,
Fassbender & Mortensen and Cassel for that matter was their usual self, Good,
and to me there has to be more to this that’s missing, to tell this story in under two hours is just laziness,
on David Cronenberg part, I mean really their has to be more, I say this a lot if you don’t get the backing from
the studio or the funds, it’s a bummer trying to move forward with limited imagination for your product,
but the one thing I have to say is watching an reading these top 50 reviewers psychoanalyzing this into a analytical
penance for the reader, it’s almost like there’re trying to make you pissed off at them, it’s hard for people to analyze
a movie without giving away the finer points of the movie, I’m going to sit on my white horse an ride an no one
can stop me, that’s coming from them, I’m giving it two stars one each for Fassbender an Mortensen,
Runtime 99 Min.
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master.
It Should’ve Been More Than What Was Given Here..
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on May 17, 2012
This film is beautiful to look at '-- costumes, settings, props all exquisitely presented. And the acting by all three principles is superb. For me, these are sufficient reasons to see the film. But if you know anything about psychoanalysis (Freud) and/or analytical psychology (Jung), you might find yourself rather bored. I did. I wasn''t expecting a perfectly accurate historical take -- nor did the film present one -- but I was expecting the focus to be on Freud and Jung''s relationship. Instead, this is a film about the relationship between Jung and Spielrein with the character of Freud in a fairly modest supporting role.

Sabina Spielrein comes to Dr Jung at the Bergholzei in Switzerland suffering from a violent case of what used to be called '"hysteria."' But instead of a reasonably explanatory presentation of how the 'talking cure' helps her recover, we get a (thoroughly fictional) sexual affair between Spielrein and Jung in which he turns her on by spanking her. Perhaps that was supposed to illustrate how '"dangerous"' the talking-cure method can be? If that is the case, it should be pointed out that virtually all methods of psychotherapy are potentially dangerous in this way, since they virtually all lend themselves to transference-countertransference events of varying intensities.

But since we already know that Cronenberg favours Freudian over Jungian theory, I rather think that the sexual affair is supposed to suggest that the Freudian position that sexual disturbance is at the root of every neurosis and psychosis is essentially correct, as distinct from Jung''s much more expansive view of libidinal vitality. We are, I think, supposed to conclude that Jung''s long period of emotional turmoil is a consequence of his trying to work through his own behaviour with Sabina: did it reinforce Freud's view over his own, or was it just a coincidence?

When one consults the available documents -- especially the letters between Freud and Jung, along with thoughtful biographies of each man -- one will discover that the relationship between these two profoundly intelligent and deeply sensitive personalities would make a gripping movie all on its own, providing there were a director and actors good at conveying emotion while still remaining true to Victorian reserve. For both men did suffer as a result of their high expectations of and disappointment in each other.
4 people found this helpful
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on February 18, 2017
Not your usual Cronenberg film, which for me was a plus. Beautifully shot and well acted, especially by the male leads. While focusing on the tempestuous relationship between Carl Jung and a young female patient, the film also explores the friction and rivalry between Jung and Freud, and provides interesting insight into the early history of the practice of psychiatry...and its practitioners.
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on October 2, 2015
Wonderful cast! Keira Knightly isn't only beautiful but talented; able to portray a distracted and desperate woman searching for her own interpretation of her psychoanalysis. Very entertaining and costume drama like, yet not suitable as a factual documentary or what have you.
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on January 23, 2013
Yes it is a true story but it looks like a soap opera. Lovely locations and costumes. Knightly demonstrating real skill as an actress. Sad to read the what happened subsequently post script.
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on December 24, 2015
Good movie!
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on February 20, 2015
what at twisted story
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on January 16, 2016
I did not enjoy this at all
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on December 2, 2012
One of those shows that sounds good and then when you watch it your like what???? Was not impressed by this show at all!
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