This film sounds like a dream come true. A biopic of Carl Jung and his friendship with mentor Sigmund Freud, starring Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen, and directed by auteur David Cronenberg, the anticipation for A Dangerous Methodhas been nothing short of ecstatic. Indeed when Fassbender and Mortensen come together as the masters of psychoanalysis, their discourse and increasingly heated debate is utterly electric. So why do we experience so little?

Instead Cronenberg and screenwriter Christopher Hampton (adapting his own play, The Talking Cure) centre the film on Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), an admittedly fascinating Russian upon whom Jung experiments with Freud’s “talking cure” before she studies to become an authority on the emerging discipline herself. The film becomes an intellectual love triangle of sorts, as Spielrein’s sexual relationship with Jung is one cause of a rift that develops between he and Freud.  

Set between 1904 and 1934, the film is a beautifully detailed and impressive period piece. Cronenberg may be (in)famous for his gore, but it seems austerity suits him very well. If only he’d opted to step away from Spielrein’s sexual hysteria and sink us further into the fascinating minds of Jung...