Ooh, a movie about psychologists. I'm one of those apparently, though not as badass as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. I wish they'd taught me about this part of their lives at uni, but they were too busy telling me about "important" things like their actual theories.
So here we have Michael Fassbender playing Jung, who starts to treat a young, disturbed patient names Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). After uncovering her dark sexual fantasies, it only takes a litte nudge from a particularly charismatic patient (Vincent Cassel) for him to break his monogamous boundaries. After working with, and on (har har) Sabina for some time, Jung finally gets the chance to meet with the man who he has based his methods on, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). But as the two's theories clash and Sabina's affections become intense and scattered, a rift opens up between two great minds.
Of course, for a movie about Freud starring Keira Knightley, there is quite a lot of sex. Knightley seems to have almost as much of a knack for getting naked in her movies as Kate Winslet. People must think British actresses are exhibitionists or something. But really, these are two women who put a lot into their craft with quite a lot of success. In the earlier scenes where Sabina is in her full mentally ill phase, Knightley's acting is superb, contorting and quivering to create a very unsettling portrayal. The performances are great all round really, especially in the scenes with both Jung and Freud debating Psychology. Fassbender employs his thoughtful stares to great effect, and both actors have a way with their words that got me drawn in to each side of their debates.
So yes, it's not all about sex. There is quite lengthy debate included too, and if you're not really into the whole Psychology thing you might find yourself getting bored. But the performances are good enough to really keep interest going, and while I found myself distracted by other things towards the final stages of the film, it was an enjoyable experience. I would say that the ending could be tidier and more tied up, but as with most true story movies there's no real way to give finality when you're just portraying a certain point in a person's life.
My rating: 4/5