Woody Allen PG-13 Running time: 1:47
IMDB rating: 6.7 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English, Spanish; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Audio: DD Stereo
Scottish Ewan McGregor and Irish Colin Farrell play two Cockney brothers who get in over their heads when a wealthy relative asks for a favor. Woody Allen's sleek thriller Cassandra's Dream begins in innocent times: Ian (McGregor) and Terry (Farrell) buy a sailboat and name it Cassandra's Dream. But soon Terry falls afoul of gambling debts and Ian falls head over heels for a sultry actress who doesn't take him seriously, leading them to ask their uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) for money, which he's happy to give them--if they'll get rid of a man who's going to testify against him. The first half of Cassandra's Dream zips along with short, concise scenes and charismatic performances by the lead lads. Newcomer Hayley Atwell (Brideshead Revisited) is alluring as the actress, while Sally Hawkins (Persuasion) brings warmth and sympathy to the underwritten role of Terry's girlfriend Kate. The second half--as with many of Allen's later films--seems to run out of steam, though there's still much to admire about Allen's clean, unfussy filmmaking. Regrettably, he seems to have lost the ability to sustain his imaginative spark. The weakness is in the writing; too many of the characters are barely sketched and clumsy lines of dialogue jar the ear in otherwise well-shaped scenes. But just when you're ready to throw up your hands, there's a moment of understated grace, in which Allen's simple visuals capture something with crystalline clarity. Cassandra's Dream is a frustrating movie, but it has its rewards.