FREUD’S LAST SESSION: ANALYSE THIS

Woody Allen in Annie Hall quips “I was in analysis. I was suicidal. As a matter of fact, I would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian and if you kill yourself they make you pay for the sessions you miss.”

And to quote another quick quip drawer, Dorothy Parker, “Might as well live.”

Yes, you might as well live to see the superlative FREUD’S LAST SESSION, adapted by Mark St. Germain from his off-Broadway smash and marvel at another sublime performance from Anthony Hopkins as the original head shrinker.

FREUD’S LAST SESSION unfolds on the eve of the Second World War as two of the greatest minds of the 20th century, father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and children’s author C.S. Lewis, converge for their own personal battle over the existence of God, the future of mankind and the complex relationships that shaped them.

FREUD’S LAST SESSION interweaves the lives of Freud and Lewis in a conversation piece that is riveting in its repartee, a high wire act of somersaulting paradox and parapraxis, a tandem trapeze between the eminent nut cracker and noted Christian apologist.

Director Matt Brown’s cinematic adaptation brims with cosy couch conversations in Freud’s study allowing us to eavesdrop on these two erudite characters discussing and debating matters of moral certainty, flawed humanity, the natural and the supernatural.

Hopkins is a marvel as Freud, a showcase master class in dexterity and assurance, from first word to last. A pillar of rational and empirical thought, the characterisation is laced with unalloyed emotion and traces of the traits of the very psychological determinants he seeks to treat.

Matthew Goode as Lewis, rises to the challenge, acting, reacting and reflecting the bold, point blank performance of his co-star. It is a delight to watch them spar, parry and thrust in this superb cinematic joust.

FREUD’S LAST SESSION is not a two-hander though, and there is stupendous supporting work from Liv Lisa Fries as Sigmund’s daughter and protege, Anna, Jodi Balfour as her lover, Dorothy Burlingham, and Jeremy Northam as her suitor, Ernest Jones.

FREUD’S LAST SESSION is a clarion call for humanity to shrug off its arrested development, its infantilism, and GROW UP!