A Dangerous Method

Director: David Cronenberg
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 3.0

Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) has conflicts with mentor/fellow thinker Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) over the fundamentals of psychoanalysis when he's not dealing with issues in his personal life, specifically his ethically dubious affair with a hysterical patient (Keira Knightley). Cronenberg's always had an interest in exploring human sexuality in his films, and this story fits right into that: in his early days, he used the horror genre to explore it, but now that he's getting older he seems comfortable with playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton's dry but sometimes tongue-in-cheek story, in which the two great analysts debate each other with great professionalism ... that is, when Jung isn't paddling Keira's behind to hell and back. Since my undergrad degree is in psychology I'm more or less primed to like this, and it doesn't hurt that both Fassbender and Mortensen are excellent together (Mortensen all the more so because he keeps Freud from being a caricature). Keira has to scream and yell for a portion of this, which may make certain audience members want to toss her in a tub of cold water.