A chronicle of the turbulent relationships between three of the main figures of psychoanalysis: Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. Based on the 2002 play The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton.
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Cronenberg's most conventional film by a mile - a linear biopic regarding two famed iconic psychoanalysts, Jung and Freud. The decision to focus on a single case study in order to represent their career spanning socio-intellectual conflict is an appropriate dramatic decision. The script has its contrivances, but authenticity is provided through the performances of Knightley, Mortensen and Fassbender. A solid effort.
Great acting, decent filmmaking, dull storytelling. Worth a watch but somewhat disappointing. I expected something from dynamic from Cronenberg given the subject matter, but this was the cinematic equivalent of Oliver Stone dropping the ball with World Trade Center and W.
What I find amazing is that Keira Knightley managed to convince so many people that she actually possesses some sort of acting ability. All I see every time she's on screen is an overacting fest. Oh well. Amazingly not even Fassbender and Mortensen do very well either in this film even though they are excellent actors. Overall I thought it was pretty bad.
A drama concerning the constant repositioning/reframing of power dynamics amongst the key players of psychoanalysis, where their blatant self-involved honesty with each other only serves a different sort of repression of their motivations, ultimately destroying them all. Blink and you'll miss it. (Also contains the most intellectual and surprising 'That's what she said' joke in existence).--PolarisDiB
A film which astutely shows that in both professional and romantic relationships, a neat thematic link exists between psychoanalysis and the nature of love and desire: opposing poles detesting each other, yet drawn together, and the inextricability of experience from scientific enquiry. But perhaps the film needs more flesh and blood -more Otto Gross and less Sigmund Freud- to get under the skin.
Cronenberg's spin only came at the end with Jung's WWII premonitions. A sequel about the war's onset, and Spielrein's death felt like it would be more entertaining than what this film was, even though I found it pretty entertaining anyway.
I felt like Cronenberg wasn't giving all of him into the project. It felt almost half-done, with the kinky scenes being soooo PG-13 (lol, jk) and being that it is a Cronenberg film, it didnt feel like one. I actually did not like Keira's performance and liked Mortensen's potrayal of Freud more. I'd like the film better if they all spoke in the native language, either German of Austrian.
… and a rather dull one too. The expected Cronenberg clinical detachment is present but it holds the subject so far at arm’s length that engagement, let alone much interest, is hard to sustain. One can see the joins in Knightley’s performance but Fassbender and Mortensen atone with crisply realised interpretations. Anaemic.