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Published:June 18th, 2012 17:04 EST

MOVIE REVIEW: A Dangerous Method

By Sean Stubblefield

MY RATING: * * *   (out of  * * * *)


BRIEF SYNOPSIS (spoiler free): A historical fiction providing a glimpse into the beginnings of psychologist Carl Jung`s career as a pioneer in psycho-analytical theory; first in compliance with and then in opposition to Freud.


PROS: An excellent portrayal of Jung and Freud, and the tenuous dynamic of their relationship.

Thoughtful summary discussions of Jung`s and Freud`s approaches to psychology. I was already familiar with Jung and his relation to and with Freud, and this movie presents an aesthetic historical and personal accuracy. Reveals the precarious beginnings of the psycho-analytic field struggling to be accepted as legitimate science.  Informative look at Jung`s personal life juxtaposed and affected by his professional life.

Well exposed and represented the hackery of Freud`s egotistical insistence and limitations to sexual motivation theory, and his pompous delusions of grandeur.

Enjoyed the depiction of intimate and prosaic letter writing, which people historically used to correspond with in days before email.

The two principal female characters are fully realized people; not treated as mere props for men, or set decoration-- which could easily have happened, especially considering the historical time in which these women lived.

CONS: Spent too much attention on Jung`s affair with a patient than on his psycho-analytical philosophy. Would prefer more focus on his ideas and methods, and his contributions to psychology than on his relationships. The story felt somewhat condensed, which I suppose is inevitable when trying to fit such an expansive subject into a film`s run time.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are interested in biographical/ historical movies, interested in a sort of well crafted crib noted version of Jung`s professional life, or are a fan of Jung and his ideas, then do yourself a favor and watch A Dangerous Method.