It’s an imagined meeting between the pioneer of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and former atheist-turned-Christian theologian C.S. Lewis.
Once a stage play, Freud’s Last Session has now moved to the big screen.
The film takes place right before the start of the Second World War. Freud invites Lewis to come to his house because Lewis had been a devout atheist who had once embraced Freud’s brand of atheism. An aged Freud, suffering from oral cancer, prepares to receive the Oxford academic at his London home while war with Germany is growing inevitable.
The factual jumping-off point is that Freud, three weeks before his death, is recorded as meeting with an unnamed Oxford don. As Freud’s daughter Anna (Liv Lisa Fries) prepares to leave in the morning, he mentions Lewis’ impending arrival. “The Christian apologist?” she responds. “Yah,” he chuckles.
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Directed by Matt Brown, the film stars Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins and Emmy nominee Matthew Goode. The screenplay is written by Mark St. Germain (“The God Committee”) based on his play of the same name.
Their conversation, which makes up the bulk of the film, imagines a respectful spiritual debate between the father of psychoanalysis, a proud atheist and man of science, and the theological Lewis, a believer who in the years after Freud’s Last Session takes place would pen his Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters and, later, the fantasy parables of The Chronicles of Narnia.
“And then one day, I believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” Lewis tells Freud in the film.
The movie interweaves the lives of Freud and Lewis, past, present, and through fantasy, bursting from the confines of Freud’s study on a dynamic journey.
Freud’s Last Session, a Sony Pictures Classics release, is rated PG-13. It’s already in theaters.
Watch director Matt Brown’s interview with CBN’s Studio 5 above.