Sign in using your account with
A Dangerous Method: The Birth Of Psychoanalysis
This is a film chronicling the relationship between the two titans of psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud (Mortenson) and Carl Jung (Fassbender), and the woman that brought them together – Sabina Spielrein (Knightley).
Jung has just started putting Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis to the test, theories that even Freud hasn’t tested yet, when a patient by the name of Sabina Spielrein comes his way. Under his care, she’s able to get over the sexual and psychological scars inflicted on her by her father’s beatings. As a guinea pig, it’s her case that brings Jung and Freud together and gradually this reverent student/mentor relationship starts to sour. Jung wants to open up the field and explore more metaphysical aspects while Freud clings to its core beliefs in an effort to have this fledgling science taken seriously. Their relationship is tested even more when Jung starts an affair with Spielrein, who is now studying psychoanalysis and is showing great promise; favouring Freud’s ideas over Jung’s.
Acting wise, the film takes a while to hit its stride. Keira Knightley is rather difficult to recognize, disguised by her hunched posture, gloriously weird facial tics and bugging eyes. The things she does with her face are rather formidable and quite scary. Her character calms down considerably though after Jung treats her and she relaxes into being a less neurotic character and a highly respected psychoanalyst in her own right. She’s the most exciting thing about the film and the only character with an aura of unpredictability around her.
Freud and Jung in contrast are stodgy and stiff, though Mortenson and Fassbender do a great job of showing the dynamics of their relationship and the curve that it takes. Their relationship starts off with a star-struck Jung reaching out to Freud; Jung soon becomes Freud’s star pupil who then rebels when he starts to feel confined by Freud’s lack of imagination. It’s a classic rebellion-against-authority subplot but instead of emphasizing the split in their relationship, the film chooses to showcase the hurt and abandonment that they both feel as a result.
The film was adapted from a play that was initially based on a book and its theatre background is rather evident. The film has a static feel to it partly because it’s heavy on the dialogue but also because of the camera work. It feels weighted, there isn’t much movement to it and the score is quite sparse and doesn’t inject much life into the proceedings either.
More a romance and study of power than a history of psychoanalysis, the film manages to be reasonably entertaining and very well acted, though psychology buffs will probably find themselves wishing for more substance to the storyline.
She wakes up from her coma to a husband who she doesn’t remember and parents who are overjoyed that she’s forgotten about their dispute. While Paige’s parents try to bring her back to the way of life that she’d rebelled against, Leo tries to help her remember why she’d left all that behind in the first place. Fighting for a wife who doesn’t remember him and is a completely different person than the one he knew, Leo tries to get her to fall in love with him again.
The film rarely gets unbearably cheesy, setting it apart from your run of the mill Sparks adaptation. It gets mushy, emotional and sappy, but it’s more likely to make you smile than roll your eyes. Leo’s pain and heartbreak combined with Paige’s family’s delight at having their daughter back, gives the film a level of grit that keeps it from becoming overly cloying. However, the secret of the film’s success is the leads, who have great chemistry and manage to pass off some of the cheesiness as bearable.
Recognised for her sensual and deadpan-cool approach, no one tells it better than Sofia Coppola. In her latest project, The Bling Ring, Coppola explores yet another layer of fame and fortune; a theme that is ever-present in her stories. Shining a light on the naivety and recklessness behind the celebrity-obsessed culture of today, her focus is right on the money.
Based on the 2010 Vanity Fair article ‘The Suspects Wore Louboutins’, The Bling Ring is based on real events. Between 2008 and 2009, a group of teens robbed and burglarised the homes of rich and famous icons across Hollywood.
We first meet Marc Hall (Broussard); a quiet high-school student who has recently moved to Calabasa, California with his mother, hoping for a fresh start. He soon strikes up a friendship with a classmate, Rachel (Chang), and the twosome bond over their mutual love and obsession of trends, fads, celebrity gossip and partying.
Marc, who is happy to have made a friend, soon sees the darker side of Rachel but chooses to ignore it and loyally accompanies her whilst she steals from unlocked cars. Rachel soon finds herself looking for bigger and better steals, however, and persuades Marc to join her in breaking into celebrities’ homes whilst they are away on vacation. The duo is quickly joined by close friends, Nicki (Watson) and Sam (Farmiga).
Together, they go on to break into the homes of the celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lyndsay Lohan, stealing everything from designer clothes to priceless jewels, and grabbing any loose cash they find lying around.
Very little character development takes place; each is simplified to reflect the shallow, straight-forward, superficial nature of the main characters. All are brilliantly cast and as the ringleader of the group, Chang nails the role of Rachel; strong, manipulative, cool and collected. As the newcomer and the only voice of reason in the bunch, Broussard succeeds in portraying Marc with naivety and charm, while Watson, whose role is smaller than expected, is nothing short of a bombshell in her brief appearances.
The film is shot beautifully, and Coppola very deliberately avoids delving into an explanation of the craze; she highlights the absurdity of fixation with the celebrity glamour and lifestyle that, as we all know, never forms any real-life values and ideals.