Trailer: David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method

Jean Claude Van Damme lined up for action flick Six Bullets
He’ll play a former mercenary tracking a missing girl. And why the hell not? Stallone’s still doing it and people are still paying for it. (Variety – firewall)

Snow White and the Huntsman adds more giants as dwarves
Yesterday it was Ian McShane. Today it’s Bob friggin Hoskins, Eddie Izzard and Toby Jones. Ok, well one giant and a couple of other swell fellows. (THR)

Ron Howard in talks to replace Paul Greengrass in cockpit of Formula One flick Rush
That would likely make this the dullest racing movie ever, but at least Howard uses a goddamn tripod. (LA Times)

Trailer: Catherine Breillat’s The Sleeping Beauty
Not to be confused with the film starring Emily Browning that recently unfurled at Cannes, this is Catherine Beillat’s latest foray into the world of fairy tales. The results of her previous effort, Bluebeard, were decidedly mixed so we’ll see how this one turns out. (Apple)

Juliet finds her Romeo
Relatively unknown 19-year-old Englishman Douglas Booth (Pillars of the Earth) has nabbed the coveted role of Romeo opposite Hailee Steinfeld’s Juliet in the upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy scripted by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park). (Variety – firewall)

(above) Trailer: David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method
Recently picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, there was a crummy bootleg trailer of this that made the rounds, but here’s the real deal from the film’s official website. Honestly, I’m a little iffy on the Freud/Jung angle, but it’s Cronenberg and, as noted previously, he’s rounded up a fabulous cast including Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel. There’s no downside here. (Cinema_Fanatic)

16 Responses to “News du Jour: A Dangerous Method”

  1. Hm. So Freud vs. Jung here really just boils down to another European sexual/romantic competition, with overtones of BDSM? That, plus the overall generic “Big Important Drama” tone of the trailer makes me less than enthused about this than I was at first. I wish that I could find something to be excited about in the prospect of a director like Cronenberg tackling two of the greatest psychoanylitic minds of the twentieth century, but this feels less like Cronenberg and more like “The Director of A History of Violence and Eastern Promises”. I don’t care about the cast, really (Keira Knightley in particular looks like she’s going through the usual “I’m a bad, bad girl” numbers). I’ll probably give it a chance, but so far it just looks like rote 90’s era Miramax paperback trash.

  2. I doubt Cronenberg cut the trailer and regardless, his films rarely distill into simple trailers. Whomever cut and scored this did it no real favors, but I’m still looking forward to it. Judging a Cronenberg film based solely on the trailer is silly at best.

  3. I have to agree, joel. If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to trailers, Cronenberg is it.

  4. If Cronenberg were a cat whose movies could be easily packaged into trailers, I wouldn’t like him so much.

    That’s another reason I only watched enough of this to ensure it was official before posting. I’m presold. Cast + Cronenberg = Craig’s Ass in Seat Opening Day

    Bob, you’re pretty much the only person on the planet who isn’t interested in Mortensen or Fassbender.

  5. Craig, in this trailer at least, they look and act indistinguishable, apart from the facial hair. But they’re not even the biggest issue I have with the cast. Keira Knightley just plain annoys me now with her one-pout-fits-all performance style. Maybe it’s just the rote “spank me, Dr. Jung!” plot they’re selling hard as bricks here, but it just feels overwhelmingly dull to me, the kind of movie that exists only to fill time in an HBO bracket somewhere.

    Dorothy, I wish I still had that kind of faith in Cronenberg. But his last two movies were shit, to be quite frank, and this looks little better. That DeLillo adaption of his looks farther and farther away with comfy prestige studio projects like this.

  6. Maybe it’s just the rote “spank me, Dr. Jung!” plot they’re selling hard as bricks here.

    Bob, I defy you to find me the numerous instances of “Spank me, Dr. Jung!” in modern cinema that make this rote.

  7. Cronenberg’s done plenty of BDSM shtick in his body-horror cinema in the past, Joel, and we’ve seen this same basic scenario repeated over and over again in stuff like “The Story of O”, “The Night Porter”, “Blue Velvet” and whatnot. Putting it into this birth-of-psychoanalysis setting is mildly interesting, but it’s frankly a little disappointingly conventional given the premise of portraying the relationship between these two minds. Does everything have to boil down to some same old sex-drama we’ve seen before over and over again?

  8. I’m betting there’s more to it. They have to sell a Cronenberg movie to the masses, and I’d say that trailer does a pretty good job actually. But I’m sure there’s something else in that story that appealed to Cronenberg besides convention. Even “Eastern Promises”, which is mainstream compared to past Cronenberg films, had more to it than the trailers indicated. (I liked that film very much, btw). I like that he’s going back a subject that obviously interests him. I’m not expecting “Crash”, but I’m sure this film will have its own unique twists here and there. I’ve never taken to Keira Knightley as an actress either, but maybe she’ll bring something to this one. I do think the casting of Viggo and Fassbender is great, though.

  9. Oh geez, Bob, you are seriously approaching Troll territory. I hesitate to feed you, but picking two films from the 70’s and one from the 80’s certainly makes a film in 2011 rote (and none of these are exactly mainstream or 90’s Miramax material either). And if you don’t like the thematic territory you feel Cronenberg has mined repeatedly before, then why even bother to pay attention to anything new?

    You’re really disappointing me though. I was hoping you had discovered some treasure trove of Jungian porn I was unaware of, but as expected I was giving you way too much credit.

  10. On the record: I very much enjoyed “A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises.” I am in love with the Cronenberg/Mortensen unit and look forward to their future projects with bated breath.

    And, clearly, I must be the sole Keira Knightley fan in these parts (though I think you have enjoyed her in the past, Craig, or am I making up shit?). I find her strangely compelling in her more subdued roles (which does not appear to be the case in A Dangerous Method, but oh well) and still beileve she was outstanding in “Atonement.”

    BTW, Craig, I finally saw “True Grit.” Must discuss (will leave it for the next Watercooler, though).

  11. Ari, again, I’d like to give Cronenberg the benefit of the doubt, but the only real silver lining I can see here so far is that Viggo Mortensen is in a role that doesn’t require him to spend the movie beating the shit out of people. I pretty much despise both the movies they’ve done together and what they represent, what they’re turning Cronenberg into in the public eye. Commercial fare he’s done in the past like “Fast Company” and “The Dead Zone” look like pure auteur projects compared to them. AHOV and EP are the kinds of films that I could frankly see almost any other director handling in much the same way– Cronenberg himself is a rather anonymous entity in them.

    It’s really a shame his “Red Cars” project fell through, years ago. Am I wrong in thinking that might’ve been the turning point for him?

  12. Give us a hint Dorothy about True Grit!

    With Knightley it depends on the role and the movie. I thought she was terrific in The Duchess which is a movie most folks didn’t seem to care for (If memory serves, even you weren’t that crazy about it)

    She’s an appealing presence who still hasn’t quite lived up to her potential, but is easy to watch on screen.

    She was on The Daily Show a few weeks back and she was very likable. It reminded me that I like seeing her in movies.

    Bob, maybe it would help people understand where you’re coming from if you explained exactly “what they represent, what they’re turning Cronenberg into in the public eye.” It’s easy to toss firebombs around like that, but they mean nothing unless you back them up.

    I think both films fit perfectly into Cronenberg’s ouevre.. a guy whose taste and sensibilities have been all over the map since his first film. What’s wrong is trying to pigeonhole him into one specific thing. Just because a few people liked it, you’re treating A History of Violence like it’s the latest Kevin James comedy and that’s ridiculous.

  13. “some treasure trove of Jungian porn I was unaware of”–You kill me, Joel.

    I think it looks good, and knowing there’s always more Cronen-Iceberg than you see on the surface in the trailer, I’m looking forward to a real treat.

    Bob, I think you’ve finally taken LiC’s Cranky Old Man title away from Craig.

  14. Let me put it this way. From his early shorts (“Stereo” and “Crimes of the Future”) and his body horror period (“Scanners”, “The Brood”, “Videodrome”) to his more mainstream efforts in the 80’s (“The Fly”, “The Dead Zone”) and literary art-house projects (“Dead Ringers”, “Naked Lunch”, “Crash”), Cronenberg has delivered some of the most consistently thoughtful, subversive and transgressive pieces of cinema out there. Yes, it’s easy to take a lot of that stuff for granted as mere sci-fi or reflections of the content they’re based on (it’s nigh impossible to make something square out of the likes of Burroughs or Ballard, “Empire of the Sun” notwithstanding), but the range of content, ideas and boundaries pushed being raised even in a relatively minor work like “M. Butterfly” or “eXistenZ” is breathtaking when compared to other genre efforts. They’re all heady films, even the more Hollywood ones.

    His most recent stuff, though, feel little better than Charles Bronson revenge thrillers with better lighting. Yeah, you can say that there’s subtext boiling underneath the surface (the same excuse that’s made for most of the films that made up the auteurist theory, the majority of which weren’t really all that interesting when you get down to it), but what I always found appealing about Cronenberg is that his work wasn’t about subtext– it was always right there, coming to horrifying life on the surface. He didn’t hide perversions, but made a point to explore them as consciously as is possible within genre norms and conventions, and consequently turned out some of the most mind-bending work ever seen.

    His Mortensen films, therefore, are a lot less challenging, and less rewarding. Even the sexual escapades we’re likely to see in this movie are cliche, by now. So yeah, I’m not excited.

  15. I hear he’s doing a Jane Austen adaptation next.

  16. It’s come to the point where that would hardly be a surprise.

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