With the holidays also comes Oscar season, when mature dramas fill the screens to impress the Academy in hopes of winning a golden statuette. Two in particular seem like quite the stunners in almost every area, and their trailers are visually catching. One is a historical pic that features Mortensen and Fassbender clashing intellects while Knightley vies for gold. The other is a deeply moody and visually complex whirlwind from Lars von Trier. In either case, they both look fairly interesting and moving.
‘A Dangerous Method’
I’m a huge David Cronenberg fan, so this preview for his latest historical drama is very exciting – particularly since it loosely revolves around the professional relationship of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen star as the highly influential fathers of psychoanalysis, and Keira Knightley costars as their most famous case, the young and troubled Sabina Spielrein. I can’t say that I’m very familiar with the details surrounding this significant moment in the history of psychology, but the film, based on both the stage play by Christopher Hampton and the non-fiction book by John Kerr, looks beautiful, enlightening and quite intense.
It’s no secret that Lars von Trier makes some very difficult and challenging films, but he’s also darkly stylish and incredibly atmospheric. ‘Melancholia’ seems to be the filmmaker’s attempt to drive this point even further, with endless imagery that’s stunning and breathtaking. The complex visuals alone have me craving for more, yearning to figure out what they mean in context. The story is rather simple, set around a wedding while Earth is on a collision course with a mysterious new planet. Early buzz from Cannes is positive, with most critics raving about the film’s visuals and marking it as a comeback for Kristen Dunst, who won Best Actress at the festival. I won’t likely run out to theaters to check it out, but I definitely want to watch it.
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