Friday, September 2, 2011

"A Dangerous Method" endowed with appropriate mental stiffness though is not the Cronenberg we're used to

"David Cronenberg's career-long fascination with matters of the mind manifests itself in compelling but determinedly non-mind-bending fashion in "A Dangerous Method." An elegant, coolly restrained account of the friendship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and its ultimate undoing by a brilliant female patient-student who came between them, this complex story from the early days of psychoanalysis engrosses and even amuses as it unfolds through a series of conversations, treatment sessions and exchanged letters. Still, the absence of gut-level impact and talky approach to rarefied material mark it as one of Cronenberg's more specialized entries, destined for a small but appreciative audience." (Justin Chang, Variety)

"The recent career of David Cronenberg has been an interesting thing to watch. Having made his name with a very particular, icky brand of fetish-happy body horror, he hasn’t dipped back into that well for a decade now, preferring instead to take his obsessions and use them to spice up what in other hands could be standard fare. And generally speaking, it has worked well: “Spider,” “A History Of Violence” and “Eastern Promises” all have much to recommend them, all peculiarly Cronenbergian, but each pushing in a slightly different direction. But now, he’s made what, on the surface at least, might seem to be his biggest departure to date (...)" (Oliver Lyttelton, Indie Wire, B)

"Talky, cerebral and intensely complex in its depiction of a fraught three-cornered relationship, A Dangerous Method is quite unlike any other film by director David Cronenberg, still widely associated with blood, gore and body parts. " (David Gritten, The Telegraph)

"Despite having to cover stages in the trio's relationships spread over many years, Hampton's screenplay utterly coheres and never feels episodic. The dialogue is constantly confronting, articulate and stimulating, the intellectual exchanges piercing at times. Cronenberg's direction is at one with the writer's diamond-hard rigor; cinematographer Peter Suschitzky provides visuals of a pristine purity augmented by the immaculate fin de l'epoch settings, while the editing has a bracing sharpness than can only be compared to Kubrick's." (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)

"Handled by Cronenberg with characteristic fastidiousness but a surprising lack of perversity, “A Dangerous Method” will delight lovers of highbrow adult cinema of discussion and mildly disappoint those hoping the subject matter augured a return to the deranged, physicality-obsessed kinkmeister of old." (Guy Lodge, In Contention **1/2)

"Even the celebrated spanking scene fails to knock much life into David Cronenberg's lugubrious tale of the tussle between Freud and Jung" (Xan Brooks, The Guardian **)

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