Cassandra's Dream (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue May 20 2008You’ve got to admire the energy of Woody Allen – who’s made a film a year since the mid-1960s. But his ‘London’ period films, commencing with the mildly diverting subterfuges of ‘Match Point’, seem more and more like ‘B’ movies. His avoidable latest – what you might charitably call a light tragedy – is named after the sailing boat purchased by Terry and Ian, chalk-and-cheese, sitcom-named, cockney brothers played by Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor. (The highlight of the movie is hearing them dropping their aitches singing ‘Show Me the Way to Go ’Ome’ together.)
The fates are pursuing both brothers: the more sympathetic Terry, a neurotic car mechanic at a North Kensington garage hoping to set up home with lively, heart-of-gold girlfriend Kate (an admirable Sally Hawkins) is dogged by his gambling addiction. In crude contrast, the more confident Ian – who dreams of being a property developer while still working at their stolid dad’s little restaurant – looks set to be a victim of hubris. Not only does he romance hiss-ably self-regarding Sloane actress Angela (suffering Hayley Atwell) in bro’s borrowed sports cars, but he also believes he can get away with murder, persuading Terry to knock off a visiting associate of their bent, rich uncle (Tom Wilkinson).
Shot over a wide, if ill-used, range of London locations, it’s a weak drama of misguided ambition and fatal character flaw, lacking any discernible authorial voice. You feel, vaguely, Allen had Mike Leigh in mind – or was it Sophocles? – but never told his actors. They flounder in a half-hearted movie lacking any sense of dramatic irony, place or purpose.
Author: Wally Hammond