A Dangerous Method (2011)

Sir PSYCHO Sexy.

Viggo Mortensen stars as Sigmund Freud, whose relationship with fellow psychology luminary Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) is tested when Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), one of the first female psychoanalysts, enters their lives. It’s also even better that Sabina is a crazy psycho who just wants to bone.

I had a feeling that this flick was going to be a little strange, considering that it’s directed by David Cronenberg, but it really wasn’t, which now seeing this, I kind of wish it was more strange.

The overall subject matter of this film is pretty interesting because it’s showing the beginning days of psychoanalysis, and there is a lot of talk about the human body and all the types of limitations we may go towards. This all seems like something we would love to see and hear about but sometimes overly-talky films don’t produce anything great to watch, they can just be downright boring.

I think where this film mostly fails is the fact that there’s nothing here that’s really happening that kept me watching the whole time. This is really just a traditional love story with a bunch of cool-ass scientists, talking, and some spanking. Something just feels somewhat lost in the mix of the dramatic-whop this film was supposed to give off because there are times when the film had my interest, then others it just totally lost me cause nothing seemed like it was happening.

A lot of things happen here such as World War I breaking out, Sabina marries some other dude, Freud and Jung traveling to America, and they also have falling out between each other. This seems like it would have you shocked at every single turn but nothing adds up to much drama. It was almost like watching a whole series of vignettes that really never amount to anything, other than ideas that could have really done something if its material just had some sparkle to it. The film also starts in 1904 and ends in probably 1921 but we never know when the year changes and n0body ever seems to age, or even show a change of character as the time’s go on.

Regardless of the emotion that is not in this film, there is a great look and sound to it. The costumes, set pieces, and buildings all look very exquisite as if I was there right there with them in early 1900’s Switzerland. The score also comes in at good times where it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to make us feel anything, but all that is pretty much wasted considering the fact that I couldn’t feel anything with this story.

Michael Fassbender is good at bringing Carl Jung to life with this sort of buttoned-down and relaxed way to him that doesn’t get in the way of his character likability; Viggo Mortenson plays it pretty solidly as Sigmund Freud, who brings charm and wit to his role that only a seasoned actor like him could do and pull off so well; and Vincent Cassel’s short role as Otto Gross is pretty good but his character is not on for long, and it seems more like an extended cameo rather than an actual supporting role for this flick.

I’m still wondering if I could say that Keira Knightley’s performance as Sabina was terrific, because she does over-act quite a bit but at the same time, her character seems very real. I think she was supposed to over-act, which is something she does very good with but her own character starts to settle down by the end and she creates this very rich and innocent character. She goes from being totally off-putting to likable and I think she deserved to be in a movie that suited her performance better.

Consensus: David Cronenberg brings out good performances with his cast, but A Dangerous Method lacks an engaging story that brings about some interesting topics and happenings, but never amounts to anything other than being a total bore.



  1. hmmm…i think keira was fascinating in this role. she just keeps getting better and better to me. but i do agree that i wish the movie was a little more risque in its detailing of the subject matter.

  2. I agree that the boat trip to the US doesn’t go anywhere.
    I was impressed by Keira Knightley, bound to get a few nominations. And yes, they seemed to capture the costumes and setting well.

    The main thing I got out of the film was how the doctor’s own feelings got in the way a little bit in psychoanalysis when treating a patient. They hadn’t learnt to distance themselves

  3. “… and now seeing this, I wish it was more strange…”

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film which lacked “strangeness”, dude. Then again, this IS Cronenberg, so I guess you’ve got a point! 😉

    Well written – I might give this a look someday, but it’s not high on my agenda.

  4. Awful movie, so boring…I think Knightley’s performance was an absolute embarassment. I agree about Cassel being essentialy an extended cameo, what a mess.

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