First, let me say that as a film critic I have a difficult job. Especially when one enjoys the cinema. Which of course begs the question, why would you be a film critic if you didn’t? My point being, there’s an obligation to tell the truth about what was seen and give you an honest opinion. So it is with a sad face and lightened wallet that this review begins.
Once again, it appears that those silly previews have done me in. You expect so much and then, Wham! Congratulations, you’ve just been had. Such is the case in “Cassandra’s Dream.” With heavy hitters like Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson, and director Woody Allen at the helm, surely something good would come of it right? Nope.
The plot is simple. Two brothers end up needing help from their rich uncle to get out of a jam. Or in one brother’s case, his regular life. The uncle obliges on one condition. That they help him out with a little problem of his own, permanently. Throw in a beautiful but clearly dangerous love interest, a sailboat named “Cassandra’s Dream” and poof, it’s a movie. Just not a very good one.
At certain points it’s unclear whether your watching scenes from a play or an actual movie. Among other things the dialogue throughout the film sometimes feels forced. It’s almost as if the actors just got their scripts the first day of shooting. However, you can’t put to much fault on the cast, which also includes Hayley Atwell and Sally Hawkins. Everyone does a decent job, nothing extraordinary but it gets done. In fact that’s a perfect way to describe this film. “Nothing extraordinary, but it gets done.” The pacing doesn’t feel right either, which in a film like this means everything. Different camera setup and editing would have helped a lot to. A proper way to do this was released a little while ago called,” Match Point.” It’s out on DVD. If you haven’t seen it rent it.
With my conscious and good name on the line, it just wouldn’t be right to recommend “Cassandra’s Dream.” Especially when there’s such great Oscar caliber movies in theatres like No Country for Old Men, Atonement, La Vie en Rose, and The Great Debaters. Think of this film as a bad dream, one that if you are smart you will never have to experience.