(aka 'Le RÍve de Cassandre')

Directed by Woody Allen
USA | UK | France 2007


Cassandra's Dream is Allen's most grim and uncomfortable film to date, surpassing even Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point. At least in those films the upper class criminals get away with their deeds and get on with their lives (however psychically diminished those lives may be). Not so in Cassandra's Dream, where two lower-middle-class brothers commit a dark crime (almost a British translation of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) that not only shatters their humanity but also destroys their family ties and much more.

Terry (Colin Farrell) and Ian (Ewan McGregor) are two brothers who are sick of their lives and want something better (the something better, as is the case in most Allen films, is material gain). Terry is a dull-witted auto mechanic prone to gambling and booze who wants to own a sporting goods store. Ian pretends to be something he is not, driving around in borrowed vintage cars repaired by Terry and claiming to be a real estate investor; he actually works as a manager in his father's downscale restaurant. When Terry wins big at the dog races (betting on a dog named Cassandra's Dream -- Cassandra also being the name of a Greek mythological prognosticator of bad events) the brothers buy a boat they never could have afforded but for Terry's winnings and see this as a sign that there lives will now change. Their rich Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) arrives for a visit, and Terry and Ian decide to ask him for money to bankroll their dreams. Uncle Howard agrees to help them but at a cost neither of the brothers could have anticipated. All in the name of family.

Excerpt from filmcritic.com located HERE


Theatrical Release: September 2nd, 2007 - Venice Film Festival

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DVD Review: Weinstein - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Weinstein - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:48:20 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 3.0) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Weinstein

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 27th, 200
Keep Case
Chapters: 22



I watched this film when it initially out and again today on this DVD and I think it's brilliant, if somewhat contrived at times. I was really scratching my head at some of the 'professional' critic reviews panning it, but I see it is highly lauded by public voting on IMdb (guess that's me on a nutshell). Allen is developing his own niche of 'morality' tales (see Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point - not surprisingly two of my favorite films by this prolific director). Some might consider it to have a European influence but regardless there is wonderfully subtle inventive cinematography (clouded conversations in the rain, through tree branches, up stairs, through mirrors etc.). This is as simple, yet poignant film about human motivation, life, family, death and greed. 

The competent Weinstein DVD is bare-bones but very clean and anamorphic, progressive residing on a dual-layered disc coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. The bitrate is very high and colors excel - it looks exceptional for an SD transfer. Audio has a 3.0 channel track which is exclusively dialogue based - it is clear and clean and there are optional subtitles.

Unfortunately no extras but as Allen is such a workhorse director - I'm sure he is onto multiple other projects - too busy to attend to commentaries/interviews and the like. The film is preceded by some trailers.

I recommend this film, especially to those who were keen on Match Point. The price gives great value for another strong, if occasionally awkward, film from the substantial crop of 2007. You need a bit of suspension, but, regardless, don't miss this one. 

Gary W. Tooze


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