Compared to other forms of medical treatment, psychoanalysis is a relatively modern form of treatment.
The 2011 film, A Dangerous Method, is the story of how psychoanalysis was born. Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) is suffering from hysteria and under the care of Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Dr. Jung is following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), who pioneered the methodology of talk therapy to deal with mental illness and anxiety. Sabina aspires to sit on the other side of the couch and becomes a psychiatrist. Then things get interesting when the personal and professional relationships between the characters begin to shift and crack.
What I like about this movie is that it not only humanizes the very large figures of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, but it also introduces the audience to Sabina Spielrein, who, for the most part, has been forgotten, despite her contributions to the fields of psychoanalysis and psychiatry.
Life can feel pretty empty sometimes. We may appear to have it all, but underneath, something is missing. Instead of going after what is missing, the easiest thing to do is compensate for the emptiness inside of us.
In the 2011 movie, Shame, Brandon (Michael Fassbender) lives and works in New York City. Over the years, he has cultivated the image of a polished, mature, respectable citizen. But underneath that image is a sex addict who knows how to hide in plain sight. Then his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) re-enters his life and his apartment and Brandon’s mask begins to crumble.
I originally wanted to see this movie because Michael Fassbender is one of my favorite actors. When I walked out of the movie theater, I was floored. Fassbender’s performance is of a tortured soul trying to keep his urges under control. Mulligan, as Brandon’s younger sister, is fighting her own demons while adding to her brother’s demons. While this movie is not for kids, it is worth watching.
William Shakespeare was a man of many genres. His ability to seamlessly write both laugh out loud comedy and heart stopping drama is a skill that many writers wish they could have.
The most recent film adaptation of a Shakespeare play is Macbeth. Macbeth is the tale of one man’s road to power, the choices he makes to reach power and the damaging effects of those choices that are made to become powerful.
Set in Scotland, Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) is intent on gaining the crown. Promised by the weird sisters that he will be king, Macbeth going a murderous path to become king and maintain his throne. At first his wife, Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard) encourages her husband to go for the throne at all costs. But then Macbeth goes too far and she begins to question if he is capable, mentally and physically of being king.
I was excited to see this film. Being a little bit of a Shakespeare groupie, I was naturally excited to see a real and raw adaptation of Macbeth. The play, like the movie is not light and funny. It is dark, political, violent and not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, my excitement was tempered by the end of the film. While the cast is terrific and the visuals of the natural landscape of England and Scotland are incredible, the individual elements that come together to make a film don’t quite gel as well as I had hoped they would.
There is something about the ancient world that appeals to story tellers. While we have many indisputable historical facts, we can play with history and fiction to tell a compelling story.
In 2010, Centurion, Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) is the sole survivor of a roman legion who was massacred in a guerrilla attack by the locals who do not want the Romans on their land. He is sent with the mythical Ninth Legion to slaughter the group that was responsible for the attack and murder of his comrades.
I like this movie. I like this movie because it is a very interesting time in history. The story also proves that while many things in life are inconstant, human nature is always constant.
Three years earlier, The Last Legion was released. Aurelius (Colin Firth) has been recruited to help the young Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster) escape from prison with the help of Mira (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). But the journey will not be easy as there are many who would see the boy join his parents in the grave.
While this movie is not the best movie that I have ever seen, it is entertaining. Sometimes that is all we need. For my fellow Janeites, this movie is excellent for two very good reasons ;).
If one were to judge Jane Eyre simply by her early life, one might say that she is doomed to be unlucky and unhappy. Jane is orphaned as a baby and raised in her deceased uncle’s home by an aunt who despises her. At the age of ten, she is taken to Lowood school, a charity school where the students are receiving subpar treatment. Eight years later, Jane leaves Lowood to work for the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Rochester as the governess for his ward, Adele.
Charlotte Bronte’s classic 1847 novel has been remade on screen multiple times over the years. In this post, I’m going to write about my favorite Jane Eyre adaptations and let you decide which among the three is your favorite. The criteria for comparison remain as is:
How closely the screenplay mirrors the novel.
The chemistry between the actors, especially the potential love interests.
The age of the actors, if they are close enough in age to the character to be believable in the part.
If the locations chosen to film resemble the scenes from the book.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Sorcha Cusack), Mr. Rochester (Michael Jayston)
Pro’s: This TV adaption is the truest of any of the filmed adaptations. It’s as if Charlotte Bronte was somehow in the room with the production team. It is flawless, the actors are perfect in their parts. In short, I have nothing but praise for this adaptation.
Cons: The only con that I can think of is that it is 41 years old. It looks 41 years old.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Ruth Wilson), Mr. Rochester (Toby Stephens)
Pro’s: Another flawless production. Sandy Welch’s screen play mirrors the novel. Wilson and Stephens have it, whatever it is, that actors have when they are playing certain characters. They are on fire on screen. The viewer (especially this viewer) has the feeling that when this mini-series is over, Jane and Edward will have a very happy life together, in and out of the bedroom.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender)
Pro’s: Director Cary Fukanaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini take an unorthodox approach to story telling. The movie starts half way through the novel, after Jane has left Thornfield. The casting of Wasikowska and Fassbender was a brilliant choice. Both age appropriate, they are perfectly cast in their parts.
Cons: It is a movie vs. a mini-series, so not everything from the book got into the movie. But I’m pretty satisfied with this adaptation.
If I were a betting woman, I would say that 12 Years A Slave will not be at a loss for nominations and awards come award season.
It is a brilliant piece of film making that brings the crime of slavery to life in such a way that is as real and raw as if the viewer lived that life.
Based on the book of the same name written in 1853, the movie tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free black man living with his family in Saratoga, NY in 1841. Under the guise of a business trip, he travels with two men to Washington DC who drug him, kidnap him and sell him into slavery.
His first master, Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) is as sympathetic as he can be. But his next master, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) is a cruel man with a jealous wife (Sarah Paulson) who is obsessed and infatuated with a fellow slave, Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o).
With the arrival of Bass (Brad Pitt) Solomon sees what might be his way out of slavery.
This movie, despite being just over 2 hours, is incredible. Most American adults and children over the age of about 10 have been taught about African-American slavery. It’s one thing to learn about it in a history book, but it is another thing to watch the brutal and violent honesty of the subject on screen.
I predict nominations, if not for the movie in general for Fassbender and Ejiofor.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!