October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

Keira Knightley earns raves at Venice for “A Dangerous Method” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: David Cronenberg’s latest, “A Dangerous Method,” held its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, with the press providing a surprising reaction: Applause.

Not that Cronenberg’s film doesn’t deserve it. There’s a very good chance it’s great. But the unwashed masses of the media rarely respond with such effusive praise unless something’s really deserving, so “Dangerous Method” must be something special. Right?

I’ll know for sure when I see the film at TIFF 2011 next week. In the meantime, reviews for the film – which follows Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) as they clash over a patient (Keira Knightley) – hit the Web ahead of the movie’s Venice bow.

Todd McCarthy writes in the Hollywood Reporter that Cronenberg’s “precise, lucid and thrillingly disciplined” film is “brought to vivid life by the outstanding lead performances.”

David Gritten at the UK Telegraph throws more love Knightley’s way, saying Cronenberg “has coaxed a performance from Knightley so ferocious in these early scenes that it seems likely to become the film’s main talking point.” He also cautions that her role is “extreme to the point of being alienating.”

The Guardian doesn’t agree. In his two-star review, Xan Brooks writes, “Even the celebrated spanking scene fails to knock much life into David Cronenberg’s lugubrious tale of the tussle between Freud and Jung.”

McCarthy gets the last word, saying Cronenberg’s film is “sure to be well received by festival audiences in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York (except, perhaps, by orthodox adherents of both physicians), this Sony Classics release should enjoy a vigorous life in specialized release” when it hits theaters on Nov. 23.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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