Reviewed Jun 13, 2012
Steven Neish’s review:
Zurich, 1904, and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) is at work founding the field of analytic psychology when Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly) finds herself in his care. A young woman suffering from hysteria, Jung finds her an awkward fit for mentor Sigmund Freud’s (Viggo Mortensen) psychosexual framework, posing his own theory of neurosis to the man in person on a later trip to Vienna. What starts out as an intellectually stimulating friendship based on an understanding of mutual respect, however, soon deteriorates into a heated rivalry as the two pillars of pychoanalysis find themselves disagreeing on everything from the importance of sex to the psyche to the relevance of religion in their work. Spurred on by one Otto Gross’ (Vincent Cassel) teachings of sexual liberation, Jung embarks on an ill-advised affair that threatens not only his reputation but his role as Freud’s successor.