my name is mayukh sen and i'm a student at stanford university studying film, history, and creative writing (or something like that). i happen to like jane fonda. a lot. CONTACT: email@example.com
A DANGEROUS METHOD
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 7:08 PM
A DANGEROUS METHOD (CRONENBERG 2011)
Disappointed. I thought this was impressively misguided. At best, it is an interesting failure, though interesting is too strong a word. It was "deep" only under the pretenses of its expository dialogue; the relationships between the three principals are absolutely devoid of the complexity this material deserves. Cronenberg wants to arouse and complicate this narrative with titillation. But all that ends up doing is cheapening the richness of this history to a spank-and-bang-me love story – dare I say Hollywood romance – where psychoanalytic theory is an afterthought (a tad similar to how Juno just happens to be pregnant). Nothing affects.
Knightley was so the wrong actress for this role. She obviously isn't proficient on a technical level (dreadful accent), but she also projects no sense of being. She is all physical mannerisms and surface-level displays of emotion. Before one chimes in that, oh, such was hysteria in the early 20th century, raw and animalistic and unexplored, a new phenomenon – fine, but we cannot simply call upon our actress to inform her characterization merely through grotesque expressionism. Knightley has no soul. Furthermore, she and Fassbender have no chemistry; Fassbender's characterization is entirely wrongheaded, so suppressed that he does not even register, and he certainly doesn't even begin to suggest the arousal and fascination Spielrein ignited within him. Taste is taste, but seeing so much of the blogosphere (and, strangely, so many critics – take a look at the IndieWire and Village Voice polls) fawning over Knightley's performance makes me question how far our definition of what constitutes skillful screen acting has regressed. I really wonder what a more soulful actress could've done with this role. All of this is just such a missed opportunity, and I feel like Cronenberg's directorial obsessions have become diluted over the past few years.
BEST ACTRESS 1986Kathleen Turner, Peggy Sue Got Married
Sigourney Weaver, Aliens
Sissy Spacek, Crimes of the Heart
Jane Fonda, The Morning After
Marlee Matlin, Children of a Lesser God
(SOME OF) MY FAVORITE BEST ACTRESS LOSERS, POST-1970Julie Christie, McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Penelope Cruz, Volver
Judy Davis, A Passage to India
Jane Fonda, Julia
Valerie Perrine, Lenny
Susan Sarandon, Atlantic City
Liv Ullmann, The Emigrants
Debra Winger, An Officer and a Gentleman
Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment
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Winona drawing from Fanpop.