By Karen Bookatz
A dramatic overture by composer Philip Glass cues the opening scene of Woody Allen’s latest effort, Cassandra’s Dream. Like the director’s past two films, Scoop and Match Point, CD is set in London and involves dark characters and plot lines, but unlike his previous examinations of bourgeois London life, CD is dark and gritty and seeks to capture London’s uglier side. It follows the lives of two brothers, lifelong gamblers, Terry and Ian (played faithfully by Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor), trying to make a buck at every turn. The brothers are generally good at heart, that is until they get mixed up in a murder involving their rich uncle – who promises to get them out of debt. It all goes downhill from there.
You’re not nuts if Cassandra’s Dream sounds a lot like Crimes and Misdemeanors, the "tragedy of errors" Allen made in 1989. Despite its Glass score, CD lacks Crimes and Misdemeanors gravitas. In terms of contemporary British crime drama, CD also falls short of Jonathan Glazer’s highly underrated, Sexy Beast. If you ask me, Allen should stick to films with Scarlett Johansson and/or Jews living in New York.