Where would we be without the likes of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung? Certainly our grasp of the human psyche and analysis of behavior would still be very elementary. A Dangerous Method follows a small segment of the lives of these two intriguing people, at arguably one of the biggest turning points for the study in psychoanalysis.

The film is set in the early 1900’s when the two men first met. The story follows Jung as we watch him change into a seemingly new person with a totally new outlook. We witness his friendship and later his disagreements with ‘the great Freud’ – and we have some insight into their famous professional disagreements. The film also highlights the possible inspiration Sabina Spielrein may have had on both Jung and Freud in the development of psychoanalysis, namely the aspect of sexual drive.

…an aesthetically and stylistically joyous era.


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Michael Fassbender does a fantastic job in his role as Jung. He realistically and emotionally nails the troubles and problems Jung faces on his emotive journey throughout the film, as does Viggo Mortensen as Freud. What I did not understand is why Keira Nightley in her role as Sabina Spielrein has a Russian accent while Jung and Freud for the purposes of the film have English accents – I must also add at times Knightley’s accent is painful and cringe-worthy, which added to my confusion as to why it is there at all!

In all, a beautiful film with some really stunning mise-en-scene, set in an aesthetically and stylistically joyous era. While Knightley’s accent annoyed the hell out of me, the acting otherwise was great and gives the audience and public at large a real insight into the personal relationship Jung and Freud shared, which also sheds some light onto the history of psychoanalysis.

Image courtesy of A Dangerous Method



About The Author

Currently a student attending University at Queen Mary, University of London.

3 Responses

  1. Ed

    The reason for the accent very straightforward. Fassbender and Mortesen are playing people speaking their native language (German) – which in this English language film is represented by native English accents. Knightley is playing a Russian speaking a second language (German). It’s thus reasonable to assume she would have been speaking German with a Russian accent – and as German is here represented by English this becomes English with a Russian accent.

    Perfectly logical once you accept that the only fully correct choice – making the characters speak in German – wasn’t an option.

    Cronenberg discusses the options in this interview clip:


  2. Jamie Baker | Media Editor

    Thank you for your insight Ed, not down to Keira Knightley’s acting ability then! A good and logical choice from Cronenberg I think rather than in films like Valkyrie where the accent or language is simply given up on within the first few frames!


  3. David Cook

    I don’t necessarily disagree or have a problem with the films use of the accent. I accept Cronenberg’s logical rationale, and it makes sound sense. But what I do have a problem with more was Knightley’s use of the accent. I found I had to get used to her very poor accent in order to begin enjoying the film – and for that reason I feel there were more options available to accomodate for her awful Russian accent.



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