February’s Film Fight only has two films in it…
First up is A Dangerous Method, the story of how the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, as well as an inappropriate relationship with a patient, shaped the early days of psychoanalysis. Despite some scenes of manic behaviour from Keira Knightley and Vincent Cassel, the strained friendship at the heart of the film just isn’t very interesting. Both men are played in an extremely cold and detached manner, reflecting the analytical nature at the heart of their work. While this may be accurate (I don’t know if it is), it certainly doesn’t make for interesting viewing. As a whole, the film was largely uneventful and dull. Disappointing. (See my A Dangerous Method Twitter review).
Carnage is, at times, amusing and kept interesting by a great cast selection. The four principal actors manage to keep the drama and comedy finally balanced, coming back at each other with the timing that such a play requires. The downside is that the film is very obviously that: a play. By sticking to the conventions of the medium, rather than adapting for film, it has more off-putting stage contrivances than are needed; when the characters start to get drunk within minutes of starting to drink, for example. On a stage, we accept these shortcuts as necessary for putting on the production. On film, they just seem a little lazy. Decent. (See my Carnage Twitter review).
While neither film was great, I think the winner was clearly Carnage.