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With Jim Sabatini

Cassandra's Dream

Cassandra's Dream
Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, Tom Wilkinson, Sally Hawkins and Hayley Atwell

Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexual material and brief violence
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 18, 2008 Released by: The Weinstein Company

Woody Allen keeps churning out movies to varying degrees of success.

After the capricious Scoop with likeable lass Scarlett Johansson, the septuagenarian finds refuge across the Atlantic again, this time with hunky topliners in Ewan MacGregor and Colin Farrell. A morality parable unfolds, unfortunately, with hardly the same kind of rich sense of purpose offered in his Match Point.

In Cassandra's Dream, a problematic serio-comedy, MacGregor and Farrell are ambitious brothers Ian and Terry Blaine who undergo quite a reckon from giving in to the needs of their global businessman uncle (Tom Wilkinson).

The film's title comes from a dilapidating sailboat representing their wishes of deserving a greater lot in life.

The contrast between the brothers who deliver their lines rather quickly as in Allen's peppy comedies has Ian more urban and straight-laced, running the family restaurant with unhappy pop (John Benfield). He's involved with a comely aspiring actress (Hayley Atwell) while getting in too deep in some unspecified real estate ventures.

The melancholic Terry is a pill-popper and a compulsive gambler who eventually chooses to go along with Ian to help take care of a potentially sticky situaltion.

MacGregor and Farrell are as watchable here as in their "bigger" mainstream escapades like The Island and Miami Vice, but the heaviness of Allen's narrative begins to act like an albatross. Nothing is carried out in a steamy, spry way as the film finally heads to things more spiritual. The music from Philip Glass is expressive in its own right, but seems out of place as Allen has some scheming notions that may have worked on paper but aren't executed very well on celluloid.

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Cassandra's Dream           C+            C+ 

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