I saw this movie last month and hadn’t planned on posting anything on it, as I didn’t like it too much. I am frankly not interested in the subject matter—psychoanalysis just doesn’t interest me—and while I know something about Freud—who doesn’t?—I know less about Jung and his school of psychology. I could thus not get caught up in the story of the film—of the relationship between the two men—, thought Keira Knightley overacted, and was not overly impressed with Michael Fassbender, who I suppose is a good actor but whom I find unmemorable (the proof: he was in ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘Fish Tank’ but I have no memory of his character in either). He is conventionally good-looking but in a nondescript way. Viggo Mortensen is a great actor but I hardly recognized him here—on account of the beard—and while I like Vincent Cassel, I see him all the time. And while the film was well reviewed in both the US and France, cinephile friends on both sides of the pond agreed with me in giving it the thumbs down.
Also in agreement, though with a far more sophisticated analysis than mine, is Hussein Ibish, the prolific Palestinian-American commentator and blogger on the Israel-Palestine issue (and whose perspectives I am invariably in total agreement with). Taking a break from I-P, Ibish—who holds a doctorate in comparative literature—devoted an entire blog post last week to the film, “A Disappointing Method: Cronenberg’s psychoanalysis film is a missed opportunity,” and to David Cronenberg’s oeuvre in general. If you saw ‘A Dangerous Method’ and/or have any interest in it, read Ibish’s post. It is very good.
In reading it I realized how few films by Cronenberg I’ve seen. Apart from this, the only ones are ‘The Fly’, ‘A History of Violence’, and ‘Eastern Promises’ (the first is a hoot, the other two first-rate). Ibish praises ‘Dead Ringers’, calling it a masterpiece. As it happens, a cinephile friend whose recommendations I always follow—and who also happens to write on I-P—told me recently as well that ‘Dead Ringers’ is a chef d’œuvre. Based on these two recs, I will try to see it ASAP.