Cassandras Dream

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, Tom Wilkinson, Sally Hawkins, Hayley Atwell. Written & directed by Woody Allen.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Set in contemporary London, Cassandras Dream concerns two brothers who are desperate to better their troubled lives. One is a chronic gambler in debt over his head, and the other is a young man in love with a beautiful actress he has recently met. Their lives gradually become entangled in a sinister plot when their well-heeled uncle recruits them to commit a murder.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Writer/director Woody Allen continues with masterful storytelling, layering his tale with subtext and subplots, delving into his obsession with the moral ambiguity of those who commit murder (Crimes & Misdemeanors, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Match Point, Scoop) and his new found affinity for British locations. Avoiding Woody-isms, the bespectacled auteur gives his characters their own fully dimensional personalities.

As with Crimes & Misdemeanors, Crime and Punishment and a hundred other entries into this genre, we see the destructiveness of evil. First, the idea takes root that killing someone will eliminate what appears to be the only way out of a dilemma. The plotting of the crime then takes center stage, allowing the criminal to overlook his true emotions with the busyness of the nefarious deed. Act three reveals the conscience beginning to shoot up through the grunge of self-centeredness.

The film raises an interesting question. Where does conscience come from? The main characters in Woodys story do not believe in God or a Hereafter. Does this mean that the conscience of man has been developed without the assistance of our Creator? Or is this a trait indeed bestowed by God, one that lingers even if man avoids developing spiritual awareness?

No laughs in this one. Its a serious Hitchcockian suspense/drama, intense and disturbing, but masterfully told and acted. Both the score by Phillip Glass and the cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond add to the productions success.

Allow me to point out that when I pay tribute to a filmmakers artistic and technical merits, it should not be assumed that I am suggesting you support the production. Please consider the content (the reason for the rating) before making a decision to attend.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
The Weinstein Company

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crudities.

Obscene Language: I caught three obscenities (s- and f-words).

Profanity: Oh my God is heard a couple of times, and Christs name is bandied about throughout at least 18 times.

Violence: A murder is committed off screen.

Sex: Though there are no graphic sexual situations, we do see a couple in bed during the act and it is implied that one couple live together outside marriage

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several of the young, attractive cast smoke and drink to excess.

Other: It is a morality play.

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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