The DVD, by Genius LLC, has no features, save a few theatrical trailers
of other films. The film's score, by Philip Glass, is hit and miss- as
often emotionally leading an audience by the nose as genuinely
enhancing the film, a characteristic far too many Glass scores embody.
The camera work by longtime Allen collaborator Vilmos Zsigmond is quite
good. But, the writing is what sets this film apart from so many other
routine 'thrillers.' In a sense, Allen's problem with such a film
reminds me of a similar problem that German director Werner Herzog had
with his recent Vietnam War film, Rescue Dawn. So many critics focused
on how its similarity in themes to earlier masterpieces by the director
showed the later film up as inferior to the earlier ones that they
missed out that the newer films were damned good on their own. Yes,
Rescue Dawn is not as good, deep, and poetic as Aguirre: The Wrath Of
God, and similarly Cassandra's Dream is not the almost perfectly
crafted masterpiece that was Crimes And Misdemeanors, but so what? Both
are outstanding films that, shorn of the comparisons, and if directed
by artists other than Herzog and Allen, would have drawn unadorned
raves. Also, it's helpful to note that the critics who dissed this film
are the same folk who dissed the same earlier great Allen films when
they came out, but who now hold them up as exemplars, only exemplifying
the utter lack of critical acumen this essay's first sentence denotes.
This film also provides a terrific showcase for Colin Farrell to show
off his acting chops. Playing against type, he is the weaker of the two
brothers, and he is excellent, showing that he is not mere female eye
candy, and that turns in stinkers, like Oliver Stone's Alexander, are
not the best he can do. Ewan McGregor is good, as usual, as are the
girlfriends, Atwell and Hawkins. Wilkinson is solid as the uncle, but
the film might have given him a bit more to do. As is, his character is
only a plot device to propel the brothers on their journeys, although
the fumbling delivery Howard makes, and his digressions on why he won't
consider a professional contract, make the scene all the more
But, the film is so rich with great moments that detail character and
plot, as mentioned earlier, that the screenplay could be used as an aid
in screen writing classes, for the film does trod over familiar Allen
territory, but often with new twists and interesting asides which only
deepen the resonance the film has. As example, after Ian meets Angela,
he dumps his black girlfriend, Lucy, and a bit later, we see him
callously telling his dad how special Angela is, and how much better
and classier than any other girl he's dated she is. Lucy hears this,
and the reaction she gives subtly lets us know how hurt she is and what
an insensitive ass Ian is. There is also a scene where Ian questions
Angela's ethic, by asking her if she'd sleep with a director to get a
part, and she replies under what conditions she would. Ian, who has far
weightier issues to deal with, seems stunned, but Angela puts him in
his place by stating she gave the answers, but did not like the
question. It's a small moment that shows that, while vain and
egocentric, she does have a delineated ethical compass, and a penchant
for giving as good as she gets- something many more one dimensional
Allen sexpots lack. But, these are only two of a dozen or more such
moments that enrich this film beyond mere 'thriller' status.
And while Terry and Ian ruminate a bit on ethics they are not the
typical Allen eggheads hemmed in by their intellectual prowess and
emotional impotence. Their collective naïve-te is actually a bit
refreshing, for when they repeat ideas hashed out in earlier Allen
films (like the concept of 'pushing a button' and someone is dead,
borrowed from Crimes And Misdemeanors) or fixate on new ones (such as
an addled Terry's claim that 'It's always now!'- i.e.- the moment they
committed murder) it is always in a different tone- one with more
desperation, pathos, or stolidity- than before or expected. Also the
fact that Allen, at several points, including the film's ending, seems
to let the film settle into a groove that seems predictable, only to
pull out the rug from under the viewers' expectations, lets the film
maintain a tension and vigor it would otherwise lack. Viewers naturally
desire clichés, in an emotional sense, for the comfort, yet when the
film resists it the momentary disappointment blossoms into attraction
to the storyline's turn from the expected, for manifest clichés invoke
an intellectual resistance in a viewer, as well.
All in all, Cassandra's Dream is an outstanding and acidic portrait of
family and crime, and one that was shamefully dismissed, when not
neglected, by the idiotic elitists that populate the critical consensus
that dominates film reviewing. Go against the grain, seek out this film
on DVD, and let it work within you as well as on you..
salsen watch Kiss Them For Me movie
In London, the loser brothers from a working-class family, Ian and Terry, buy a second-hand sailboat name Cassandra's Dream for their leisure....
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Great underated movie .
A Tale of Two Brothers
Woody Allen has a genius for creating fully fledged characters in
minimum time. A few minutes into the opening scene which shows the two
brothers buying a boat that they cannot afford, we already understand
that theirs is a genuine, close and mutually supportive relationship
a relationship which will be severely tested later on.
Two brothers aspiring to improve their lives in very different ways:
one hoping to win enough money through gambling on dogs and poker, the
other through investing in restaurants and property in Los Angeles.
Two brothers who both need money for very different reasons: one to
escape the clutches of loan sharks who would break his legs, the other
to escape to LA with the beautiful, sophisticated woman of his dreams.
Two brothers dealing with guilt and remorse in very different ways: one
suffering ever deepening mental anguish and sleepless nights, the other
pragmatically shrugging off "the past" as he ambitiously plans his
Shot in London, with an all British cast, the standard of acting is of
the highest quality. The brothers' contrasting personalities are played
to perfection by Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor. Hayley Atwell (who
like McGregor, also trained at the Guildhall School in London), would
give Scarlett Johansson a run for her money as the sexy, sultry, siren,
while Sally Hawkins shines as Farrell's homely, happy girlfriend.
With unremarkable, minimalist music from Philip Glass, matched by
minimalist opening and closing credits, and editing which leaves-in
scenes which should have been taken out, the film gives the impression
that it was made in a hurry.
Yes, this is a film from a Woody Allen, who is not at his very best.
However, at nearly 72 years of age and after writing and directing over
40 films, receiving 3 Oscars and over 77 other awards, his genius is
surely entitled to a day off. This time it is the actors who carry the