Friday, September 2, 2011

Venice Review Round-Up: "A Dangerous Method"

Another day, another major player making its debut in Venice. The next big one, and a big Oscar hopeful, is David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, which centers on the relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). It's been buzzed about for quite some time, with many thinking/hoping that the film could prove to be Cronenberg's big break into the Oscars. Like many high-profile premieres, however, Method isn't making quite the splash that fans of the director and his cast (which includes Keira Knightley) had predicted.

The Telegraph - David Gritten (3/5 stars): "Much of this material...is frankly uncinematic, and Cronenberg has compensated with sumptuous locations..." "But it's Knightley that one remembers, for a full-on portrayal that is gusty and potentially divisive in equal parts."

The Guardian - Xan Brooks (2/5 stars): "What the spanking [scene] can't do, unfortunately, is knock some life into this heartfelt, well-acted but curiously underwhelming slab of Masterpiece Theatre."

IndieWire - Oliver Lyttelton (B): "Still, if the take off and landing are a bit bumpy, most of A Dangerous Method is fearsomely smart..." "But if anything keeps it from quite hitting the heights that it could, it's Hampton's script."

London Evening Standard - Derek Malcolm (4/5 stars): "...[Knightley] more than holds her own from the moment she arrives on the scene..." "It is a dark, troubling tale...with a calm appreciation of the passions that lay behind the trio's different views of treatment..."

The Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy (N/A): "Precise, lucid, and thrillingly disciplined...brought to vivid life by the outstanding lead performances of Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, and Michael Fassbender."

Variety - Justin Chang (N/A): "...the film's most problematic element is Knightley, whose brave but unskilled depiction of hysteria at times leaves itself open to laughs."


Venice Verdict: It has a cool head, a compelling story, and features a trio of solid performances, but A Dangerous Method may be too cold and distant to consistently connect with audiences.

1 comment:

5plitreel said...

Wow Knightley is really getting a mixed reception. Seems like she made it or broke it.

Too bad, I was hoping this would've been an instant classic. Someone's being harsh though, no why is this a 2/5. Even though I haven't seen it there's no way.