Cassandra’s Dream

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Well into his 70s, Woody Allen seems more concerned than ever with issues of the human conscience. He mined the territory with Crimes and Misdemeanors back in 1989, but then revisited it in 2005 with Match Point, celebrated as a comeback film. Once a quintessential New Yorker, Allen has lingered in London for the last few years, and this time he uses the city as a backdrop for a story of sex, class, brotherly love, and cold-blooded murder. Cassandra’s Dream is the name of a tiny boat, purchased by brothers Ian (Ewan McGregor) and Terry (Colin Farrell) from scraped-together funds. The story is driven by money — Ian needs it to impress his actress girlfriend, and sad-sack Terry needs it to repay gambling debts. The tension comes when they consider how far they’ll go to satisfy their needs and aspirations. The performances are a bit too awkward, and Allen’s directorial style a bit too leisurely, to make Cassandra’s Dream work as a crime drama. At the same time, there’s a lot to admire — especially the elegant work of master cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Not really a success but not a complete failure, either. B-

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