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Cassandra's Dream (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  18 January 2008 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 41,603 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 138 user | 179 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go bad and the two become enemies.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ian
...
Peter-Hugo Daly ...
Boat Owner (as Peter Hugo-Daly)
...
Father
...
Mother
...
Lucy (as Ashley Medekwe)
...
Jerry
...
...
Keith Smee ...
Terry's Track Mate
Stephen Noonan ...
Mel
Dan Carter ...
Fred
...
Director
...
Helen
Lee Whitlock ...
Mike
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Storyline

Two London brothers are hard-up for cash, and both have girls to look out for, too. When rich Uncle Howard comes to town and agrees to help them out, he admits his finances are under investigation, and he asks them to do him a favor and "take care of" an old business relation to keep his trouble under wraps - he says that they're family, and since he always takes care of them, the least they could do is help him out this once, as they're the only ones he can trust. The film follows their struggle with the immorality of this request and how each brother chooses to deal with it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far will you go to make your dreams come true? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexual material and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

18 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Summer Project 2006  »

Box Office

Budget:

£13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$437,643 (USA) (18 January 2008)

Gross:

£47,359 (UK) (23 May 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sally Hawkins dyed her hair blonde for the film. See more »

Goofs

When distraught Terry comes to discuss murder at Ian's apartment, the whiskey bottle comes out twice after changing camera shot angle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ian: Ah, she's a beauty! I mean, look her - she's not new, but she looks new. He said the engine needed work.
Terry: I could do the engine.
Ian: I can't believe he's asking so little. It's practically a steal.
Terry: John Anderson said we could keep it at his marina - free of charge - at least for a year till his son comes back.
Ian: Ah, here he comes. Don't show you're too eager or he won't budge on the price, all right?
Terry: Right.
See more »

Connections

References Jaws (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

You've Got It
Written by Kemdi Amadiume & Regis Godon
Performed by Handcrafted Sol featuring Kemdi
Courtesy of Manhattan Production Music & Coco Machete Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
TIFF07, review 5: Being rescued is one of my wicked dreams…Cassandra's Dream
17 September 2007 | by (buffalo, ny, usa) – See all my reviews

I went into the Toronto Film Fest screening of Woody Allen's latest movie Cassandra's Dream completely void of knowing anything about it. With no other preconception besides the fact that I really enjoyed Match Point, I sat down to see what was in store this time around. Would it be a comedy or a drama? Since his last entry, Scoop, was a comic one, which I have not yet seen, I was ready to be enthralled with a mystery of dramatic proportions. What a surprise, though, when around a quarter of the way through, this one turned from serious to amusing. I need to believe that the laughs are intentional because of the way in which the performers start to ham it up for the camera. No way would Woody allow that to happen if he didn't really want it to. Upon exiting the cinema—the glorious Elgin Theatre that reminded me a lot of Buffalo's own Shea's—many audience members seemed to be buzzing about whether they were laughing at good comedy or bad, over-the-top theatrics. I never second-guessed myself that the laughs were genuine and by doing so, I found that I loved this film.

Some of you may be aware that Allen had cast and started preproduction on a film directly before beginning Cassandra's Dream. For some reason the production fell through and was ultimately scrapped. No one knows if it was somehow reworked into the movie we see now, but I would guess that it was not. My first impression, once we discover the true impetus of the movie, was that this is Match Point with comedy. The plots of both follow a very similar path and the murder and guilt accompanied with it are one and the same. In the end, the only real difference between the two, besides the superficial supporting characters that are switched around, is the way in which both conclude. Whereas Match Point stays calm and methodical, Cassandra becomes very much a comedy of errors. It will really depend on your personal taste for which you feel succeeds more. Also, if you liked the first, you should like this new spin, but, if you disliked the first, you may find yourself enjoying this one because it seems to rectify a lot of what people criticized Match Point for.

Our entry point into the tale is with two brothers played by Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. The two come from a modest family, whose father is a restaurant owner attempting to get McGregor's character to take over the business for him, while Farrell works at a garage fixing cars when not betting at the neighborhood track. Allen does a wonderful thing with these characters as he casts both against type. McGregor is usually the heart on his sleeve type and sympathetic in nature while Farrell generally plays the ladies-man lothario who is not afraid of a little scrap. Both are completely flipped on their heads here with Ewan getting ample opportunity to be cool under pressure, seeing the big picture at all times and Colin showing some real nice range as the depressed and conflicted one, unable to wrestle with his conscience. Much like Terry Gilliam's Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger cast as opposites, I believe this change of pace helps build up the atmosphere needed for the laughs to work. Farrell's facial expressions are priceless and McGregor's attempts to stay afloat, while the world falls apart around him, is top-notch.

The story itself is straightforward, much like Match Point. Both brothers find themselves in trouble financially, one for gambling debts and the other for a woman (the beautiful Hayley Atwell). Only their rich uncle will be able to save them both, however, the time has finally come where his charity will need to be exchanged for something he desperately needs. It is the proposition from Uncle Howard, a wonderful acting job by Tom Wilkinson, which really sets into motion the underlying plot point that props up the rest of the film. What he asks is impossible, yet after some persuading and bouts with ego, both brothers take the plunge and find they can't deal with the pressure it causes.

Even though I found a few of Woody's metaphors a bit too heavy-handed—"what's your favorite Greek tragedy?" and the interpretations of dreams occurring left and right—I found the acting and plot progression to be spot-on. Both leads carry the film on their backs and without those performances would have left the whole thing behind to drown. While it could seem a tad lazy that Allen would pretty much rehash what he did two years ago, it is different enough to succeed on its own. Cassandra's Dream could be looked on as a very capable companion piece to Match Point, (I may even go so far as saying I liked it better), but it also shows that a little comedy can go a long way. Hopefully Woody will delve more into this mixture of theatre's two faces and show how working together can create some wonderful art as well.


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