Review: 'A Dangerous Method' is compelling cinema

Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) is amazed at the effect Carl Jung's (Michael Fassbender) treatment has on her behavior.

Story highlights

  • Watching Keira Knightley cycle through shame, anger, arousal and relief is a pleasure
  • Michael Fassbender's eventually heartbreaking work is largely one of subtlety
  • It's an historical drama, a romance and the story of a professional friendship
David Cronenberg's follow-up to 2007's "Eastern Promises" is an engrossing and brilliantly acted adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play "The Talking Cure" (itself based on John Kerr's book "A Most Dangerous Method").
It's centered around the real-life trio of psychiatrists Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a woman who is at first a patient and later a pioneer in psychoanalysis, herself.
Lacking any of the dark or macabre trappings of many of Cronenberg's previous films ("Crash," "Dead Ringers"), "Method" is instead a romantic, bittersweet and u