Freud’s Last Session (2023)

June 6th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir/Wri: Matthew Brown | Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Goode | US Drama

Sigmund Freud and C S Lewis debate the existence of God in this provocative imagined drama starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode, and based on a play by Mark St Germain that became a hit off Broadway.

When Hopkins played the English theologian and writer in Shadowlands he reduced audiences to tears with his earnest attempt to court Debra Winger’s dying writer Joy Gresham. In Matt Brown’s two-hander Matthew Goode is the star turn as a more . dapper and indulgent C S Lewis with Hopkins, his sparring partner, spiky and reticent in his final years as the legendary shrink.

Matthew Brown and Mark St Germain decide to spice things up by incorporating flash back episodes of Lewis’ life in the trenches but this detail often derails the already engaging exchange of informed views, detracting from the film’s natural dramatic thrust.

Sometimes linear narratives work best, and that is arguably the case here. On the other hand, the writers’ decision to probe Freud’s backstory with his daughter Anna adds an informative touch to an intelligent foray into the young woman’s Electra complex: Interestingly the theory belonged to his Swiss colleague Carl Jung and not her dad. @MeredithTaylor

In UK CINEMAS from June 14, 2024

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