Two Jews on Film - By Joan Alperin-Schwartz: Sigmund Freud... Carl Jung... So what comes to mind when you hear these two names? Certainly not, the director David Cronenberg. who's more known for making twisted, dark horror/scifi ('The Brood', 'Scanners' 'The Fly) than cerebral relationship dramas.
But with his new film, 'A Dangerous Method' that's about to change. This is the story of three people, Sigmund Freud (Viggio Mortensen)...Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and their extraordinary, patient/associate, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) who eventually came between them.
First, I have to talk about the acting... which is absolutely brilliant. Keira Knightley gives a complex, exciting performance as Sabrina... I personally think this is the best performance of her career. Equally outstanding is Viggo as Freud and Fassbender (who seems to be in everything nowadays) as Carl Jung.
'A Dangerous Method' takes place before World War 1, when psychoanalysis was in its beginning stages... Which in itself is interesting...Today seeing a 'shrink' (especially in NYC and LA) is as common as owning an Ipod and of course, that wasn't always the case.
When the film begins, Sabrina comes to see Jung in his clinic in Zurich. To say Sabrina is a total psychological and physical wreck, is being kind... Poor girl can't stop convulsing and obsessing about masturbation.
Anyway, Jung uses Freud's (the Yoda of psychotherapy at the time) techniques to treat Sabrina and the two men, through their correspondence with one another, develop a friendship. Yes folks, there was a time when people actually wrote letters.
But what starts at as a student-teacher relationship soon turns into a battle of egos. Jung starts to develop his own ideas about analysis and how to treat Sabrina, which differ greatly from Freud's... And that really pisses the old guy off.
Now the film isn't only about the clash of ideas...There's also alot of hot, kinky sex as well.
I absolutely loved 'A Dangerous Method.' There are no special effects, no action scenes, no violence, just a fascinating study about three remarkable individuals who helped changed the way people view themselves and in turn...others.
Make sure you stay for the credits to find out how Sabrina, Jung and Freud's fate was affected when monsters came to power in their part of the world.
Once again the 'Two Jews On Film' disagree. I gave 'A Dangerous Minds' which opens in theaters, Wednesday, November 23, 2011, four bagels out of five. And what did John give it? Check out our video to find out...Also you don't want to miss his impersonation of Miss Knightely. I predict only one of them will get the Oscar nod.