Alfonso Cuarón tells a deeply personal story with absolute precision in "Roma"                "Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards        

Savannah gets sexual with Cronenberg’s “Dangerous Method” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell It will be the spanking heard up and down Broughton Street.

Michael Fassbender, playing pioneering psychotherapist Carl Jung, administers sexually charged humiliation to a bare-chested Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” which screens this evening as part of the ongoing Savannah Film Festival.

Oh, it’s not all sex and games. Cronenberg’s period drama examines how arousal and perversity in a female patient (Knightley) drove the early explorations of Jung (Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). “Method” is admirable, academic, cool and detached. It’s not quite as passionate as Cronenberg fans might expect, but it’s a worthy addition to this year’s impressive Savannah line up.

Mortensen, in particular, has been very good for Cronenberg, and vice versa. Starting with “A History of Violence” and leading through “Eastern Promises,” these two have collaborated on dangerous, exhilarating genre films that oozed with criminal menace.

Cronenberg’s “Method” cast is exquisite. Knightly – affecting a wet, Russian accent – is all twitches, spasms and jaw juts as Spielrein. Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of his own stage play “The Talking Cure” draws a line in the sand between doctor and patient, then pounds that divide with waves of sexual tension. The eventual release, which should have been Cronenberg’s specialty, is understated. But the cast relishes Hampton’s loquacious feast – really, the performances are uniformly great.

Just brace yourself for the spanking.

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