Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

05 June 2008

Cassandra's Dream, dir. Woody Allen (2007)

NIKKI says:
Even with the standard credit sequence, the expert pacing, and the un-Hollywood ending, it just didn't feel like a Woody Allen film. The best Woody movies feature multifaceted characters; nuanced, intriguing, complex people. The main characters here couldn't have seemed more cardboard had the words "Corn Flakes" been printed on their foreheads.

Two working class English guys need money -- one has to pay off gambling debts, the other wants to move up and out of his small town and on to bigger things, with the girl of his dream on his arm -- and she's in dire need of impressing.

What do we do? We take a rich uncle's offer to help us out of our scrapes by killing someone.

It's been done, right? And this one re-did it without any Woody Allen wit, no subtext whatsoever, and very little in the way of punch. It was all very predictable. From the second one character references Bonnie and Clyde, I knew the fates of our heroes. And while I was impressed with the ending, I didn't feel at all satisfied. And so... I kinda felt. Now what? Also, the uncle character was foreshadowed to death as not the man we might think he is. Over-development is very un-Woody.

I don't know quite what I think about Woody's new career as a maker of British caper flicks. I didn't care for Match Point and Scoop, while fun, was nowhere near the Woody Allen standard I am so used to. Where did our Woody go? His dialogue has lost its snap, his characters have lost their individuality and realism, and his plots have lost their ferocity and their absurdity. Is Woody Allen so purely an American writer that his British works can't help but feel inferior?

I agree with many of the film's reviews that the actors were very good. I've never liked Colin Farrell in anything before this. For the first time, I saw him as a real actor. He is actually the most compelling thing about this film. Still, his character is riddled with cliches.

I don't know -- even bad Woody Allen is still pretty good, but I want more. Anyone could have made this movie, not the single greatest writer/director in the history of cinema.


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