Posted May 22, 2008 in The Small Screen

When it all comes down to it, Cassandra’s Dream (written and directed by Woody Allen) is all about priorities, and how one person’s priorities can shift another person’s priorities, etc. Brothers Ian (Ewan McGregor) and Terry (Colin Farrell) are working class blokes dream bigger than what they’ve got . . . possibly because their mother has been pumping them full of stories of her brother Howard (Tom Wilkinson)—a plastic surgeon with lots of money and international success—their whole life. Terry’s a mechanic with a gambling problem and a nice girl who wouldn’t mind a house and a baby one day. Ian reluctantly works with Dad at his struggling restaurant but falls in love with an actress who thinks he’s a bigger shot (hotel investor, fancy car) than he is. All this fictive behavior leads to inevitable pinches. Enter rich Uncle Howard, whose money and empathy will surely get Terry off the gambling books and enable Ian to actualize the façade he’s created . . . but debts are to be paid at a steep moral price. Allen covered the ground of “would you commit murder to protect your way of life” in both Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanors, and the territory suits his bobble-headed “what ifs” quite well. In Cassandra’s Dream, Allen has created a tense, squirmy film with solid performances (replete with the usual misogynistic undertones) that blow right past the expected and straight for the deeper questions—what would you do? (Red Vaughn)


The Weinstein Company, 109 minutes

Release date: May 27




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