Cronenberg's direction and photography are as usual steady and impeccable, and I found the exploration of the father-son relationship between Freud and Jung an interesting and unexplored take. However the story will leave you regretful if you have seen a previous version of the Sabina Spielrein story in the italian produced film The Soul Keeper.
With lower budget and much less promotional pretense, you would be almost upset by a story much sensually deeper and more compelling, with sound psychological insight into the characters, supervised by renowned psychoanalists and researchers. Iain Glen (Jung) and Emilia Fox (Sabina) as lovers are heathbreaking, feelings that we don't risk with Keira Knightley, again inexplicably recruited to act with a higher level cast. I find this confirms Cronenberg's general lack of interest in female characters, which are usually streotyped and superficially depicted, to focus more on the analysis of the male protagonists. Nevertheless the choice of actors, I have to say, shows some understanding of women's needs. Fassbender and Mortensen justify the price of the ticket for most of the female audience. In this sense we look forward for Cronenberg's next movie, possibly - just a suggestion - with Viggo in the role of the lover.
emmab (DI User), 01/03/12
Don't be put off seeing this film! Knightley IS painful to watch (see previous reviews), but that makes what happens all the more interesting - and real.
Jung comes under the microscope here, while Freud gets off very lightly - but there is a serious engagement with the early days of psychoanalysis - its dangers and its power.
There is a lot of story to fit into one film and events sometimes shift abruptly, but the film as a whole is convincing, with some excellent dialogue.
No doubt it will reverberate around Oxford's consulting rooms for some time to come.
Helen M. , 28/02/12
Absolutely dire. Keira Knightley is so bad it's painful to watch.
CC , 25/02/12
Cronenberg does not try hard to find ways to cover the usual monofacial, boring and from time to time Munch-the-scream-face of Keira through all the movie. She keeps playing the usual herself and not at the advantage of the story. Fassbender confirmed himself credible and suitable to play very different roles (go and watch Shame to agree with that). Also Mortensen playing Freud is not very convincing, still reminds of a tanned relative of the character he played long ago in Lord of the Rings. All in all you can save the money to go and watch Carnage instead.
TonyPagoda , 23/02/12