One thing I could count on with a David Cronenberg movie is that it wouldn’t be boring. That has changed, with the release of this snooze fest.
It’s this new genre of historical fiction (Titanic, Inglourious Basterds, Midnight in Paris, etc).
It’s the early 1900s, at Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud are at the forefront of psychoanalysis, and they have a few interesting conversations on how to treat patients. The plot thickens when Keira Knightley is dragged in. She’s convulsing, grimacing, and making her jaw look like Bubba’s in Forrest Gump. It’s a performance that makes you laugh unintentionally.
Cronenberg has tackled bizarre sexual impulses in film before (Crash and Videodrome), but the one thing he hadn’t done before was make a boring movie (okay, Naked Lunch was kind of boring…)
Having him direct this period piece with an illicit relationship, which is well designed and nicely shot, seemed like the perfect vehicle for him.
He has his regular, Viggo Mortensen. He’s good as Sigmund Freud, but geez…sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Did he need one in every scene?
Michael Fassbender as Dr. Carl Jung, has a better performance than his overrated one in Shame (and critics need to stop calling that or this a “brave performance”).
And let’s not forget an actor that is always interesting when he appears in a movie, Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine).
Now, you could’ve had smart people sitting around talking about destructive human behavior, repressed sexual desire, and a variety of other things. This is the perfect cast to take this book, which became a play (The Talking Cure), and create an interesting film. This isn’t.
It’s usually people talking in the movies (in the seats behind me), that I find boring; not the actors on screen. I found myself wanting Knightley to shut up and get on to the next spanking session.
The movie was an hour and a half, but it felt like it was three.
This is the weekend for boring films (Tinker Tailor was the other one).
Instead of Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, rent Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. It’s historical fiction that’s a bit weird, but you’ll never be bored.
This movie gets 1 star out of 5.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun