A Dangerous Method
A Gala Presentation at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival®, A Dangerous Method is a brooding tale of dark desire and the dread that lurks behind genius, experienced by intellectual misfits in conventional society. Veteran Canadian director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Eastern Promises) brings these recognizable obsessions to a new genre: the historical period piece. A Dangerous Method is an extremely controlled film tackling a period of time in history when explanations about the human psyche were questioned in drastically new ways. Theories of such importance, that to this date, are still discussed, debated, celebrated and refuted.
Set in Vienna on the eve of the First World War, the film explores the complex relationship between novice psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre, Inglourious Basterds) and his mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen, The Road, Eastern Promises). Studying under the already well-established Freud, Jung practices his teacher’s methods while developing his own theories based on the clinical study of psychologically disturbed patients. When a sick young Russian woman arrives at the clinic, both Jung and Freud are fascinated by her case and spellbound by her vulnerable yet dangerous sexuality.
The beautiful and profoundly disturbed Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley, Last Night, Never Let Me Go) strikes an untapped well of unconscious emotions within Jung as he begins to probe her dark past. When his primal attraction to Sabina deepens and their interaction intensifies, Jung begins to question the restrictions of Freud’s methodology and develops his own approach to human behaviour and treatment.
Strong supporting turns from Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Eastern Promises) as radical psychoanalyst Otto Gross — who encourages his patients to liberate rather than repress their base instincts — and Canadian newcomer Sarah Gadon as Jung’s morally upright wife complete the web of troubled relationships that surround Sabina’s treatment. Sharp-witted dialogue and a pristine turn-of-the-century-Vienna setting add a refined tone to a film that explores the anything-but-civilized depths of human desire.
“Precise, lucid and thrillingly disciplined, David Cronenberg's film about boundary-testing in the early days of psychoanalysis is brought to vivid life by the outstanding lead performances of Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: Entertainment One
ON NR /
BC NR /
AB NR /
SK NR /
MB NR /
QC NR /
This film has no active screening dates.