Was ‘A Dangerous Method’ a Freudian slip-up?

Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, and Michael Fassbender in A Dangerous Method (2011)

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Directed by David Cronenberg

6.5/10  R

It’s a psychological bio-drama of the purest sense, the infamous feud between psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his understudy Carl Jung, and Viggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender are delightful together. A Dangerous Method throws in a deeply disturbed Russian woman (Kiera Knightley) to really divide the men. Rihanna is put to shame by the woman…and yes, I mean to say that chains and whips really excite her.


It wasn’t too long ago that I posted a review of another film where Mortenson teamed with director David Cronenberg, but I was pleased that this one went much better. Kiera Knightley is positively insane, between her stammering and spanking it got a little tough to follow. Her acting deserved equal consideration from the Oscars and the Razzies, but received little talk at all. Mortenson did receive a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Sigmund Freud—with his phallic talk, thick stogie, driving gloves, and Viennese accent, Mortenson immortalizes the famed psychologist. If only Michael Fassbender’s Jung in this film could have treated his character in 2011’s Shame…then again, what was Shame without the pornographic content?


A Dangerous Method, set during the earliest years of the 20th century in Vienna and Zurich, relies heavily on costume and set design. Both look incredible. And while its script can be dry and dreadfully slow at times, it never takes terribly long to catch up to itself. It really is an enthralling, intriguing true(ish) tale, one that I’ve always liked to see on the big screen. Sony Pictures Classics, you have done it again! A Dangerous Method is the story of your Freudian dreams. Did the acting make up for the slow plot? Thoughts on Kiera Knightley’s interesting role?

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