- As there are various descriptions of childhood abuse, I would flag this as a movie people should avoid if they find this material triggering.
- I’m not sure that I was supposed to find this hysterically funny, as quite literally no one else in the theatre laughed at any point in the film. There were lots of little bits that I think were supposed to be deliberately funny that didn’t get much reaction out of the audience (e.g. Jung eating half the dinner feast when he visits Freud for the first time), and some where the absurdity of the scene had me in stitches (e.g. Jung relating a dream to Freud and Freud saying “Have you considered that the log in your dream may represent the penis?”). They missed the mark somewhere in presenting Freud’s/Jung’s various theories for a modern audience that knows a lot of their ideas have been discounted over time; they’re so deathly earnest and serious when they meet to talk shop that the only possible reaction is awkward laughter.
- The acting in this was not spectacular. The under used Vincent Cassel came out ahead of everyone else, I think; he’s very good at playing douchebags but for once he was a douchebag without there being anything inherently funny or obnoxious about his character, so that was refreshing. Viggor Mortensen was fine but I didn’t feel like he had much to do other than smoke his cigar (“Have you considered that the cigar may represent the penis?”) and rock a prosthetic nose. Michael Fassbender was boring. Keira Knightley apparently had one acting cue for the entire movie, which was apparently “Act with your chin!”
- Not enough Wagner. I know that I whine when people rely too heavily on Wagner for awesomeness, but I didn’t think that the bits they were playing were so iconic as to distract or give a false sense of importance to the scenes they were used in.
- I don’t think this movie knows what it wants to be about. Is it about Freud’s friendship with Jung? Is it about Jung’s relationship with his patient Sabina Spielrein? It splits its time generally equally between the two but doesn’t really end up doing either very well. I think Jung’s relationship with Spielrein edges out the Freud/Jung story but both the trailer and the various title treatments really want you to think it’s about the relationship between the two psychologists. I did get a little bit of enjoyment out of the fact that Jung was Forever Alone by the end of it, with Spielrein taking up with Freud’s ideas rather than Jung’s. Haha!
- So, at what point did wet nurse’s go out of style?
- I kept thinking Jung’s wife was Sadie Frost from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Evidently I do not think that Frost has aged in twenty years, despite the fact that being married to the philandering Jude Law for a spell would surely age anyone.
- The trailer annoys me in retrospect because it plays up significantly on “Keira Knightly, Crazy Lady!” but obviously leaves out how her treatment with Dr Jung ultimately helped her and allowed her to go on and complete her education, culminating in her becoming a successful psychologist in her own right. Obviously that’s not necessarily relevant to the trailer, but it set the expectation that Spielrein would always be The Patient With No Hope. It was nice to learn that she became successful in her own right.
- On the way home from the movie we stopped at Kitchen Stuff Plus because Audrey needed to buy a spring form pan. I bought a pizza peel because it’s a tool needed for following the recipes in Artistan Bread in Five Minutes a Day but I declined taking a plastic bag since it was something I could carry. Of course, I got bored of carrying it and asked Audrey if I could put it in her bag and she said “No, you have to live with your choice. I bet everyone thinks you bought some weird sex paddle because you just saw this movie.” Thank you, darling sister.
Categories: 2 Stars