Freud’s Last Session
Dir: Matt Brown.
US/UK, 2024, 108 min.
Matthew Goode, Anthony Hopkins, Jodi Balfour.
“St. Germain has adapted his play to the screen in collaboration with director Matthew Brown, who has the task of opening up a largely talky and intellectual exercise to make it all work as a movie… Thus we have flashbacks to sequences of war, love, family conflict, etc., but still at its heart are the words… We are invited to this meeting of these brilliant minds as they gather to talk about their core religious belief: the scientist Freud, a confirmed non-believer in God, versus the writer and theologian Lewis taking a more hopeful and spiritual approach completely at odds with his host… We learn about each man through their lived experiences. There is Freud’s childhood, life in Vienna, and difficult relationship with daughter Anna… As for Lewis, there are protracted flashbacks to his time on the battlefield in World War I and friendship with best friend Paddy Moore… There are other excursions, but the film always returns to the centerpiece of its idea of an open dialogue between two very disparate men… What makes this an event for serious filmgoers are the performances… Hopkins is once again, you guessed it, awards worthy. What a complete pleasure it continues to be to watch this great actor at the top of his game. Goode is equally fine, even with the less showy role… Those filmgoers who are up to submitting to this fascinating fictional meeting will find much to think about.” —Pete Hammond, Deadline