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Cassandra's Dream

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Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Peter-Hugo Daly, John Benfield
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Brahim Chioua, Charles H. Joffe, Daniel Wührmann, Gareth Wiley, Helen Robin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013D8LC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,943 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cassandra's Dream" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell star as working class brothers whose dreams of better lives leads to desperation, greed and deadly betrayal. When gambling debt and an expensive courtship place them in a financial bind, a rich uncle (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton) offers them an out in exchange for committing murder. Featuring gripping performances from an all-star cast; "this family tragedy puts us near the edge of our seats and pulls us right along on its downward spiral" (William Arnold, Seattle Post Intelligencer). Woody Allen returns in razor-sharp form with this "intense, intelligently-written and directed," (Jeffrey Lyons, Reel Talk) thriller that challenges how far a man should go in the name of family.

Customer Reviews

Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor are fantastic in it.
It continues in the darker mode of Woody Allen's London-based films, but is never less than interesting.
I got to the end of it and had to wonder why I just spent that time watching a big, stressful downer.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Alex Udvary on January 20, 2008
The critics seem to enjoy beating up Woody Allen. "Cassandra's Dream" follows in the trend of the last 15 or so years of the public and critics turning their back on Allen and his films. I've found that they sometimes take cheap shots. It's one thing not to like an Allen film, but often I read personal attacks against Allen the man. Remarks are made concerning his age, personal life and his relationship with Soon-Yi. Rarely do critics stick to comments concerning editing, cinematography or acting without inserting a jab at Allen.

Every review I've come across for this film has been negative. "Variety" did not like it, spending a majority of the review complaining about the characters accents and the language used in the film, citing it is not authentic if you are British. Roger Ebert did not like it nor did the Chicago Tribune while the New York Times seemed luke-warm to it.

Once again however I find myself on the outside of public opinion. "Cassandra's Dream" is one of 2007's best films. Many may want to compare it to Allen's "Match Point", Allen's other film set in London revolving around murder and social class. Don't! The films are very different. "Match Point" I felt used metaphor in a more superior way. I thought Allen did a better job expressing his views on society in that film, but, "Cassandra's Dream" should not go without its due praise.

The film follows two lower class brothers, Ian (Ewan McGregor) and Terry (Colin Farrell) trying to get by and climb the social ladder to success. Terry has a bit of a drinking and gambling problem. For now the gambling is paying off. Winning small amounts at cards and betting on the dog track. Ian on the other hand works at the family restuarant but dreams of investing in hotels.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Danniray99 on November 8, 2008
Format: DVD
Woody Allen's "Cassandra's Dream" is a tightly-wound fable about the morality and consequences of overweening ambition. Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell star as two working-class brothers who start out with outsized dreams but end up with a wealth of troubles wrought by obsessive social climbing. Ian (McGregor) passes himself off as a high-rolling property investor/developer, largely to impress his paramour, an alluring actress with a wondering eye (Hayley Atwell), while Terry (Farrell) sinks into the mire of compulsive gambling. In their desperation to finance their respective endeavors, the brothers turn to a wealthy uncle (Tom Wilkinson), who in turn extracts a deadly Faustian bargain from his nephews. Like 2006's "Match Point," "Cassandra's Dream" is yet another in a string of movies that are propelled by Woody Allen's lifelong fascination with class, morality (especially as it is defined or interpreted by the socially prominent) and the resulting friction. As with "Match Point," "Cassandra's Dream" has a spine-tingling, thriller-like urgency that quickens and intensifies as the story moves along. And Colin Farrell gives what may be one of his finer performances as the boozing, pill-popping and guilt-ridden prole unwittingly roped into an unspeakable vendetta.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on May 24, 2008
Format: DVD
Since the times of "Mighty Aphrodite" the genial Woody Allen seems to have found a never ending vein of possibilities, blending the essential roots of the Greek tragedy with the classic patterns of the Noir Film.

As a matter of fact, if "Match Point" was one of his most supreme achievements until this date, "Cassandra ` s dream" is the perfect vehicle to carve in relief the existential anguish and the primary scream for two working class brothers who aspire to escape from his quotidian environment.

Every one of them wants to be recognized and admired, playing the game of a wealthy uncle, who is for their mother, the symbol of success, and the real support along his years of childhood and youth.

So, we have the greedy mother, the ruthless uncle who is a real wolf of the finances and regards the existence like a poker game. "Family is family and blood and blood" is his honour` s code, the fatal statement which will open the Pandora's box , leading the viewer to be witness of what the unsatisfying thirst of ambition and greed .

Once more, we are in front of one the most intelligently written and better conceived scripts of this tireless filmmaker, where the brain sees to impose itself into a world eminently emotional where nobody is totally innocent.

Both brothers appear like the sides of a coin, one represents the wounded conscious, while the other is the symbol of the pragmatism. A similar dramatic device who reminded me to Sean Penn `s "Indian runner".

Watch it, because it's absolutely gratifying from start to finish.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on September 28, 2008
Format: DVD

Whenever he turns to drama, Woody Allen always seems to wind up
channeling either Ingmar Bergman ("Interiors," "September") or Fyodor
Dostoevsky ("Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Match Point"). "Cassandra's
Dream" finds him in one of his Dostoevsky moods (with traces of
Hitchcock thrown in for good measure), once again making the case that it is
both impossibly difficult and ridiculously easy for the common man to
engage in cold-blooded murder.

Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor star as two working-class brothers who
have fallen onto financial hard times (one is a compulsive gambler, the
other a frustrated cipher with dreams of rising above his station both
economically and romantically). Desperate for some immediate cash, they
reluctantly agree to knock off one of their wealthy uncle's business
rivals who has some secret knowledge that, if it ever got out, could
send the old man up the river for a very long time.

Set in London, "Cassandra's Dream" is not as sharp and cutting as some
of Allen's previous works in this genre, but thanks to strong
performances by Farrell, McGregor and Tom Wilkinson as the uncle, this
latest update of the Loepold-and-Loeb story manages to keep our
interest most of the way. The themes, which have been played out in
literature and movies for what seems like eons now, understandably feel
a trifle old-hat at this late stage in the game, but Allen's generally sharp dialogue,
canny insights into human nature, and smooth direction help to freshen
them up a bit.

It may not be Allen at his finest, but the ancillary rewards of script and acting make the
film well worth seeing.
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