Thursday, May 22, 2008

Murder Most Foul

ImageCassandra’s Dream (Weinstein)
London brings out the beast in Woody Allen: this is another drama about murder, as two down-on-their-luck brothers agree to kill a stranger for much-needed cash. Not as amoral and nihilistic as Match Point, Cassandra's Dream unfolds more casually, even undramatically. But Allen’s low-key tone is part of its dramatic strength. Each scene has a narrow focus; once its lone point is made, along comes the next. Colin Farrell and Ewan MacGregor are perfect brotherly foils, and stunning newcomer Hayley Atwell plays a thoroughly sexual creature far more persuasively than Scarlett Johansson did in Match Point. The lone misstep is Philip Glass's music, whose wearying, repetitious rhythmic surges are at odds with the clean, clear elegance of Allen's filmmaking.

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