Cassandra's Dream Movie Review

PG_13, 108 m., 2007

Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell

Writer-director Woody Allen is in his 70s, making film after film (sometimes twice a year; late summer brings the much-buzzed-about Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Cassandra’s Dream, a middle-of-the-road effort, is the  master nebish’s latest from London.

The film is a crime melodrama about a couple of brothers, upper-middle-class working stiffs. Ewan McGregor stars as Ian, the calm, cool one, and Colin Farrell is Terry, the gambling addict basket-case. They’re in debt up to their ears and find an opportunity when well-off uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson, great as always) asks them for a favor – kill a blackmailing business associate (Phil Daniels).

As Farrell and McGregor get in over their respective heads, Allen delves deeper and deeper into territory recalling such past masterworks as Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Match Point (2005), sounding echoes, never reaching those heights. This film also resembles Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), recalling yet never quite achieving that film’s grand guignol/Greek tragic proportions in the end.

The film is slow and not too dark (nor too witty), with an abrupt and realistic ending that’s missing a shot or two (an auteur’s choice if ever there was). Overall, this is solid Allen fare.


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Filed under 2008

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