The always edgy David Cronenberg‘s last two films reaped major Oscar nominations. He directed Viggo Mortensen to a Best Actor bid in “Eastern Promises” (2007) and their pairing “A History of Violence” (2005) vied for both Best Supporting Actor (William Hurt) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Cronenberg and Mortensen once again join forces on “A Dangerous Method” also starring Michael Fassbender and previous Best Actress Oscar nominee Keira Knightley (“Pride & Prejudice,” 2005).
“A Dangerous Method” examines the relationship between psychologists Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Mortensen). Knightley plays Sabina Spielman, an aspiring psychoanalyst who comes between them. The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy raves, “Along with Knightley’s excellent work as a character with a very long emotional arc indeed, Fassbender brilliantly conveys Jung’s intelligence, urge to propriety and irresistible hunger for shedding light on the mysteries of the human interior. A drier, more contained figure, Freud is brought wonderfully to life by Mortensen in a bit of unexpected casting that proves entirely successful.”
There’s also awards pedigree in other names attached to the film. Academy Award champ Christopher Hampton adapted the script from his play. Hampton’s “Dangerous Liaisons” won Best Adapted Screenplay in 1988 and he was nominated again for “Atonement” (2007). Howard Shore, who won three Oscars for his work on “The Lord of the Rings” series, wrote the score.
Cronenberg’s first brush with the Oscars was in 1986. His gory remake of “The Fly” won Best Makeup. He has discussed doing a new version of that film and tells Gold Derby, “I would like to do it and I’ve written a screenplay that I’m happy with. Fox, at the moment, is not wanting to do it. You can write them and ask them why not.”