A Dangerous Method is an intelligent film–on many levels

Director David Cronenberg has made some intelligent decisions with A Dangerous Method.  First, hire some of the best actors we have today.    Second, have Christopher Hampton adapt the screenplay from his own stage play (Dangerous Liaisons is one of my all time favorites).  Third, address an interesting (historical) topic.   Fourth, have Howard Shore score it beautifully.  And lastly, keep it tight and fast paced.  What you end up with is a fascinating, personal look into some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century and a great film.

I love Cronenberg’s style.  Always have.  I like even some of the obscure stuff–eXistenZ  anyone? and still think that The Fly is a horror classic.  In the later years he has become a master of the slow burn with a flash of shocking violence–Eastern Promises and A History of Violence are perfect examples of that.  With this film Cronenberg changes his MO–completely.  It is intimate and thought-provoking.  What a pleasure to see this side of him–and makes me wonder what else is possible.

The cast is perfect.  Michael Fassbender–again–is amazing.  He disappears into any character and as Carl Jung he is able to capture the keen mind and the conflict that Jung must have experienced.  Viggo Mortenson is a strong counter as Sigmund Freud–his presence is big and overpowering–I’m sure Freud was too.  The  scene stealer though is Keira Knightley.  She is fantastic as Sabina Spielrein–a woman ahead of her time in many ways.  Knightley is able to cover the full range of emotions needed to portray this complex character and she nails it!  I hope she gets some recognition during award season.

The story centers around the differences in the doctors’ philosophies (which are well-known) but anchors it with–what turns out to be–a love story.  There are many themes–father/son–teacher/student–doctor/patient–that should lead to interesting discussions.  Even if you are not a student of psychology you will find the narrative intriguing. 

So, if you need a break from the usual Hollywood offerings–check out a film that is a bit more…intelligent.  🙂

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About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

One thought on “A Dangerous Method is an intelligent film–on many levels

  1. Good review. The performances are good, even though Knightley may be over-acting quite a bit, and it looks great, but the film also just feels like a series of vignettes with no real feeling or drama to it. Basically what I’m trying to say was that I was bored and this story just never really got off the ground.

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