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David Cronenberg is no stranger to exploring how people undo themselves by venturing into the boundaries of human sexuality. In A Dangerous Method, though, he delves into the historical figures who helped set those boundaries, and creates a drama where intellect and science are pitted against human passion and sexual politics.
The story -- as adapted by screenwriter Christopher Hampton from his stage play, The Talking Cure, which in turn was based on John Kerr's book, A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein -- spins off the actual relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), one of the founders of modern psychoanalysis, and Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a young woman who starts out as the doctor's patient and eventually becomes his colleague and, as rumor has it, mistress. As Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortenson) is drawn into their orbits, the film becomes an intelligent and moving tale of people striving for the betterment of humanity, frequently against the pull of their own frailties.
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