Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis battle over the existence of God on the eve of World War II in Freud’s Last Session.
The first trailer for the Sony Pictures Classics film starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew Goode released on Wednesday, and sees the two actors portraying the famed psychologist and author, respectively.
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“Why would you come here to see me if you disagree so passionately with my views?” Hopkins’ Freud asks Goode’s Lewis from across his office desk.
It’s two days after Hitler has invaded Poland, as German bombs rattle England, Freud — who fled Vienna following Nazi forces’ presence in his homeland — is now visited by the theologian Lewis in London. Not quite famous yet to the degree his Chronicles of Narnia series will bring him, the former atheist turned Christian has come to confront the “Father of Psychoanalysis.”
The topics of discussion? The gaps between science and religion, faith and logic. But also how studying the mind could miss the path of the soul. “You’ve insisted all your life that the concept of God is ludicrous — clash between God and Satan,” Goode says, before Hopkins responds. “Yes, but I did not say whose side I was on.”
Through the frequently contentious day-long debate that sees Lewis challenging Freud’s disbelief and Freud challenging Lewis’ fears, alongside Freud facing down deadly cancer, the duo work to see the other’s point of view as Britain enters the second world war. “At the core of your being, we’re all cowards before death.”
Based on Mark St. Germain’s play of the same name, directed by Matthew Brown and co-written by Brown and St. Germain, Freud’s Last Session also stars Liv Lisa Fries and Jodi Balfour. The film hits theaters on Dec. 22.
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