A Dangerous Method

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David Cronenberg's latest starts off with a scene that might have been in his Crash: A horse-drawn carriage whips wildly around corners, a woman writhing inside. She turns out to be the exquisitely neurotic Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), being conveyed to the offices—and, ultimately, the arms—of young therapist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), himself taking cues from cigar-chomping mentor Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). From these turn-of-the-20th-century events, bound to shake the world, Cronenberg crafts a Viennese psychodrama that's unusually talky and tame for him. Regardless, the script's themes of anti-Semitism and guilt linger far longer than a pair of overhyped spanking sessions.—JR

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New York Film Festival 2011

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