***A Dangerous Method (November 2011) – Theatre
The birth of psychoanalysis, through Carl Jung’s treatment of Sabina Spielrein, using Freud’s theories. Starring Keira Knightly, Michael Fassbinder, and Viggo Mortenson.
She says: I was going to say that this is another movie about marital infidelity, but although that occurs in this movie, that’s not really what’s about. It’s about the birth of psychoanalysis, as Carl Jung tries Sigmund Freud’s “talking cure” on a female patient of his, to great success. The two men eventually meet, and debate both the theory and practice of their new field. The patient, Sabina Spielrein, also studies to become an analyst. At one point she and the married Jung begin an affair, despite their doctor / patient relationship.
It’s an interesting movie. Keira Knightly is quite good in the role, and this movie made me feel that Spielrein also made a contribution to the field and ought to be better known than she is. (I’d never heard of her before this.) It’s also probably the least violent Cronenberg movie I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit notorious as the film where “Keira Knightly gets spanked”, but those scenes are filmed pretty discreetly. There’s no doubt what’s going on, but you’re not getting any close-ups.
But I wasn’t really sure what the overall point of the movie was—what its message was. Not that every movie needs a big message. It just seemed like this particular movie, so focused on ideas and the nature of human condition, should have one. So while worth seeing, I wouldn’t call it a complete success.
He says: I didn’t mind the movie. It wasn’t sexy at all, but I guess he wasn’t going for that.