Cassandra's Dream

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 73
  2. Negative: 4 out of 73

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 19, 2010
    2
    Brothers buy boat after winning on horses, one brother meets actress, falls in love, other brother gambles & loses lots of money, ask rich Uncle for help, zzzzzzzzzzzz. It is pretty dreadful & not Woody Allen's finest hour. The accents are all over the place, McGregor & Farrell's acting are awful & not even the great Tom Wilkinson can save it. Didn't help that the ending was rubbish too!
  2. JDH.
    Jan 20, 2008
    6
    On the surface this may seem to be a rebuttal to Crimes and Misdemeanors, but a closer examination sees that it is a very different story. Once one realizes that the story is not about two brothers, but about Ian, with Terry as a supporting character, it yields a similar, yet even darker conclusion than C & M. The clue here may be the title. As Cassandra was cursed to speak the truth but On the surface this may seem to be a rebuttal to Crimes and Misdemeanors, but a closer examination sees that it is a very different story. Once one realizes that the story is not about two brothers, but about Ian, with Terry as a supporting character, it yields a similar, yet even darker conclusion than C & M. The clue here may be the title. As Cassandra was cursed to speak the truth but not be believed, Ian speaks lies and is believed by practically everybody. (If you were cursed with the former, would you dream of the latter?) The resultant narcissism propels him toward a inexorable descent to doom that is all Greek tragedy. Unlike Judah Rosenthal, Ian has no moment of remorse after the deed, though he was much more hands on than Judah. Ian is solely driven by his appetites and those around him suffer due in no small part to his lack of substance. Still, unlike Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point, Mr. Allen doesn't seem to be as on his game for this outing. The pacing seems uneven and things seem to slow to a crawl at the beginning of the second hour. Though this fits in Allen's trilogy of murder quite nicely, in Ian there are interesting echoes of Lee Simon from Celebrity, both in plot mechanisms and even Mr. McGregor's resemblance to Kenneth Branagh in that role. Still, an interesting study of a doomed personality totally subsumed by his refusal to take responsibility. Expand
  3. JayH.
    May 19, 2008
    8
    Excellent suspense thriller, brilliantly directed and written by Woody Allen. The score is outstanding, as is the cinematography. Convincingly told and very well acted by everyone. It's held my interest throughout. Superb.
  4. TomM.
    Jul 7, 2008
    8
    Similar to Bob Dylan in music anything Woody Allen creates is a must, no matter what the scribes or experts say. And I'm sure "Cassandra's Dream" will get its share of thumbs-down reviews from non-Woody afficionados. I liked it. The storyline was dark, strangely human, and fun. The acting was good, especially Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell as the two brothers. I had some Similar to Bob Dylan in music anything Woody Allen creates is a must, no matter what the scribes or experts say. And I'm sure "Cassandra's Dream" will get its share of thumbs-down reviews from non-Woody afficionados. I liked it. The storyline was dark, strangely human, and fun. The acting was good, especially Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell as the two brothers. I had some trouble, initially, with the British accents, but even that seemed to dissipate as the movie continued. Expand
  5. CraigG.
    Nov 8, 2008
    1
    Quite possibly one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. However I was so morbidly fascinated that I watched it all the way through on DVD to see how bad it could get. Poor script, poorly delivered by people who should have known better. The dramatic moments were quite funny. It looked like a TV soap opera gone wrong. And when lines were fluffed, why didnt the director say Cut Quite possibly one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. However I was so morbidly fascinated that I watched it all the way through on DVD to see how bad it could get. Poor script, poorly delivered by people who should have known better. The dramatic moments were quite funny. It looked like a TV soap opera gone wrong. And when lines were fluffed, why didnt the director say Cut and do it again? Redeeming features are few but some of the settings were quite pretty and the old Jaguar cars were nice too but I still couldnt see their purpose _ a bit of window dressing I suppose. And where did the boys' parents go after the dastardly deed was done? Not a word from them as the film grinds to a close. In short contrived and awful. Cassandra's dream should be Woody's nightmare. Expand
  6. biffj
    Jan 18, 2008
    10
    It's much better than the critics are telling you.
  7. JensenD.
    Jan 21, 2008
    10
    This is definitely the best movie that I have seen in some time. The middle class setting is much more realistic than most of Woody Allen's settings, and the acting is first rate. The film is a morality tale, and its themes stayed with me long after the closing credits. In brief:: one of Woody's best!
  8. RyanS.
    Jan 20, 2008
    7
    It wasn't awful, at least. I think this would have made a better book, honestly - it reflects Macbeth rather nicely. But some of the lines were a but overdone, and Allen could have put forward the cyclical nature a bit more.
  9. MichaelE.
    Feb 12, 2008
    6
    Pretty ordinary stuff, but Woody is a good enough writer and director to pull it off. At any rate it isn't as cold and familiar as "Match Point."
  10. ChadS.
    Feb 3, 2008
    7
    "Cassandra's Dream" may be set in England, but some of its characters, you could argue, have a New York-state-of-mind. Just like people who say they were born into the wrong family; Ian(Ewan McGregor) and Angela(Hayley Atwell) strike me as sophisticates who somehow ended up in a Mike Leigh film. Even though Ian and Angela belong to the same working class as Terry(Colin Farrell) and "Cassandra's Dream" may be set in England, but some of its characters, you could argue, have a New York-state-of-mind. Just like people who say they were born into the wrong family; Ian(Ewan McGregor) and Angela(Hayley Atwell) strike me as sophisticates who somehow ended up in a Mike Leigh film. Even though Ian and Angela belong to the same working class as Terry(Colin Farrell) and Kate(Sally Hawkins), they're just conspicuously better looking, and more refined than Ian's brother and girlfriend. Like many New Yorkers, the handsome couple are planning a move to California. Even though "Cassandra's Dream" seems to mark a departure from this filmmaker's fascination with the middle-upper class, he's far from being a humane filmmaker like Leigh, or Ken Loach. Although Ian is comparatively amoral when sized-up against his tortured brother, he one-ups Terry when push comes to shove, because the favorite son has so much more at stake. Ian, to my utter disbelief, ends up being more altruistic than Terry. Ian's actions goes against the grain of the film's rhetoric, which convinces us that Terry needs to be dealt with by any means necessary. Because rhetoric in the filmic world differs from its real-life counterpart. Since nobody can get hurt from a vicarious thrill, we engage our loyalties with people from the wrong side of the law, and root for their clean getaway. Ian & Terry are no different than, say, Bonnie & Clyde, but with a difference. The brothers, unlike the fugitive lovers from the 1967 Arthur Penn film, have a caste system in place. They're not treated as equals. "Cassandra's Dream", inadvertently, says a lot about this filmmaker, whom we've always suspected was filled with contempt for the proletariat. Ian's redemption at the end of "Cassandra's Dream" is proof of an inherent Manhattan haughtiness that puts a damper, but doesn't quite cancel out the film's many strengths. But make no mistake, there is a class-warfare subtext at play here. Collapse
  11. CarlG
    Jan 15, 2008
    8
    Allen back in Match Point territory, though not quite as successful this time around. Some dark humor elements and some quite suspenseful moments reveal Woody is turning into something of a master of a suspenseful scene in his old age.
  12. MarkB.
    Jan 22, 2008
    8
    Except for an early scene that quotes a famous bit in Steven Spielberg's Jaws (and maybe indicates that the two brothers in the scene, who are soon to commit an inextricable crime would have been better off if Bruce the Shark had gobbled them up) Woody Allen's latest film is almost totally devoid of humor. (Some might say that's ok, so were his most recent comedies.) The Except for an early scene that quotes a famous bit in Steven Spielberg's Jaws (and maybe indicates that the two brothers in the scene, who are soon to commit an inextricable crime would have been better off if Bruce the Shark had gobbled them up) Woody Allen's latest film is almost totally devoid of humor. (Some might say that's ok, so were his most recent comedies.) The staging and shooting of several long sequences in this movie are so static that one occasionally wishes that the brothers' weapon of choice had been not a zip gun but a claw hammer, the better to remove the nails affixing the camera to the ground. And the surprise ending is far too abrupt to fully carry the punch Woody intended to deliver. Nevertheless, this is Allen's best, most accomplished and entertaining film since Crimes and Misdemeanors over a decade ago. (Note, of course, that neither film will exactly rival The Sound of Music as a blues-chaser, but who said that happy and enjoyable were always synonymous?) Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell , both playing wonderfully against type, are cast as brothers tempted to carry out a hit that would solve various financial needs and wants; it's not surprising that in classic tradition the assignment's completion and aftermath don't go as simply and smoothly as planned, but the originality of this movie arises from the fact that it would be the perfect crime if someone's conscience didn't so relentlessly get in the way. Allen shows us which brother has a sense of ethics and which is just a wee bit, um, challenged in that area early on: Ian (McGregor) dumps his girlfriend for a woman he literally meets on the road, while Terry (Farrell) is loyal to his spouse. (But then, since she's the sweetest woman in the world--if occasionally a little clueless--and she's played by the astonishingly adorable Sally Hawkins, who here pleasantly resembles mid-1980s Rosanna Arquette, why WOULDN'T he be? Love that overbite!) It's instructive to observe that coldblooded Ian endlessly aspires to upward mobility while the compulsive Terry is a working-class joe; Allen knows that the biggest sociopaths often aren't serial killers but CEOs and that it's often not the Norman Bateses or even Hannibal Lecters you have to look out for but the Gordon Gekkos...or worse, Gekko wannabes. Terrific byplay between the brothers and an almost comically overwrought score by Phillip Glass (who also did the honors for 2006's Notes on a Scandal with equally smashing results) give Cassandra's Dream a higher rewatchability factor than Allen's earlier exercise in Britpop bloodshed, Match Point. Despite some predictable musings about greed, fate and The Meaning Of It All, Cassandra's Dream plays like a really, really good extended episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents...and how many movies, by Allen or anybody else, can make THAT estimable claim? Expand
  13. Sep 5, 2012
    9
    I recently rewatched this film and though I remember liking it the first time it was ( I certainly can't say lovlier) better the 2nd time around.
    It works on so many levels the classic story, the acting, perfect Hitchcokian score courtesy of Philip Glass and finally it is beautifully shot. I agree with Manahlo Dargas maybe Woody should abandon comedies all together? I especially feel
    I recently rewatched this film and though I remember liking it the first time it was ( I certainly can't say lovlier) better the 2nd time around.
    It works on so many levels the classic story, the acting, perfect Hitchcokian score courtesy of Philip Glass and finally it is beautifully shot. I agree with Manahlo Dargas maybe Woody should abandon comedies all together? I especially feel that after seeing "From Rome with Love". Cassandra's Crossing is one of those movies you want to rescue the characters, save them from themselves somehow. The two leads, Colin Farrel & Ewan McGregor have such chemistry and Farrel gives a truly poignant performance makes a gambling addiction understandable in a way I've not seen before on screen.
    Please see this film
    Expand
  14. Aug 25, 2014
    9
    A steady, captivating movie. There is no dizzying action, explotions, or dazzling special effects, but the movie manages to be one of the best I've watched recently.

    The characters are introduced well, as are their lives and patterns. They grow thorough the movie - especially the brothers Terry (Farrell) and Ian (McGregor). In the beginning the first is a gambling man living on his
    A steady, captivating movie. There is no dizzying action, explotions, or dazzling special effects, but the movie manages to be one of the best I've watched recently.

    The characters are introduced well, as are their lives and patterns. They grow thorough the movie - especially the brothers Terry (Farrell) and Ian (McGregor). In the beginning the first is a gambling man living on his luck, while the latter dreams big but it keeping his feet safely on the ground.

    When the game gets tough, though, it is almost surprising who is going to grow a conscience, and who will bury their fellow men for their dreams.

    Drama, love between brothers and family, and dreams close to coming true mingle in this film. Blood is thicker than water, they say; family is everything, they say here. 'How far; how long; how deep?', I ask.

    I loved the ending, especially. After all the drama and hard (impossible) decisions, it all comes down into such basic things. Our big struggles in life are such a small thing in the eyes of the world.
    Expand
  15. Aug 24, 2016
    7
    I really enjoyed Cassandra's Dream. Tense, sad, and dramatic, Cassandra's Dream is a very different film from Woody Allen, but shows that an old dog may be able to learn new tricks. Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell are great together here and have great chemistry as brothers who are asked to kill somebody in return for great financial gain. Though the morality play the film poses and theI really enjoyed Cassandra's Dream. Tense, sad, and dramatic, Cassandra's Dream is a very different film from Woody Allen, but shows that an old dog may be able to learn new tricks. Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell are great together here and have great chemistry as brothers who are asked to kill somebody in return for great financial gain. Though the morality play the film poses and the theme of family relationships may be unoriginal, Allen never fails to elicit tension and thrills along the way, with his two leads game to follow his lead. There is nothing wrong with a genre film and Cassandra's Dream certainly fits the bill as both a drama and a thriller. It executes its well-worn cliches to perfection, while entertaining in spades. Though its ending may be predictable to some, it does not lose its impact and can be quite spellbinding in the lead up as you watch these brothers grapple with the ramifications of the decisions they make; both positive and negative. Overall, Cassandra's Dream is a very good film from Woody Allen that has even better performances, while leaving you on edge for much of the film anticipating the next turn it will take. Expand
  16. Oct 30, 2015
    7
    I like Woody Allen's work, this might not be his best film, but it's still pretty good. The characters are what move this film forward, they are very well-written, the two brothers both have a bit of good and a bit of bad. I was interested in seeing how things turn out for them in the end. Unfortunately the ending was very rushed and I did not like it very much. I didn't expect anythingI like Woody Allen's work, this might not be his best film, but it's still pretty good. The characters are what move this film forward, they are very well-written, the two brothers both have a bit of good and a bit of bad. I was interested in seeing how things turn out for them in the end. Unfortunately the ending was very rushed and I did not like it very much. I didn't expect anything because I did not know what to expect, it wasn't easily predictable, still... I felt let down by that ending. Expand
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. 30
    Cassandra's Dream, an earnest meditation on greed, desire, murder and class struggle, is one of Woody Allen's funniest movies in years -- except Allen doesn't know it.
  2. In thematic terms, Cassandra's Dream could be looked at as a rebuttal to "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
  3. 50
    An uninspired if perfectly watchable drama.