It's been a wet weekend. In preparation I hired out a stack of movies. Basically I went into the video store and got 11 movies I hadn't seen before as fast as I could. One was Cassandra's Dream. A Woody Allen movie from 2007. I love Woody and thought I'd watch it when Jacky was working or sleeping or out with the horses or...Basically Jacky HATES Woody.
Oddly we do have a Woody and Diane Keaton still from Annie Hall on the wall. Clay gave it to me years ago and it's survived Keegan's attempts to borrow it over the years. Jacky loves it. Go figure. But she won't watch a Woody movie. No way. No how.
So this morning, as she slept in, I started watching it. Not with a great deal of hope I'd have to say. The last few years since his last great film - The Mighty Aphrodite - have been very bad! Here's the list since then with him as writer/director, and he's nothing if not prolific: Everyone says I Love You; Deconstructing Harry; Celebrity; Sweet and Lowdown; Small Time Crooks; The Curse of the Jade Scorpion; Sounds from the Town I Love; Melinda and Melinda; Matchpoint; Scoop.
How many of those have you even seen? Did ANYONE see Sweet and Lowdown?? Okay - so not a rich field and I watched those last three through gritted teeth out of duty to the genius of Stardust Memories, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Bananas, Hannah and her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Mighty Aphrodite.
The verdict? Cassandra's Dream is a film that you should see and think about. Now, as a rule, I'm also not crazy for Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor (here playing brothers) but Woody has finally stopped casting younger versions of himself and has given these two actors something memorable to chew on. The use of Cassandra in the title clues you in to the idea that warnings will not be heeded; that we're probably heading into tragedy territory so I won't be spoiling things for you if I reveal that, as in Crimes.. , the bad guy gets away with things and it's not a happy ending for the brothers.
Why should you think about it? Because it deals with some big issues - the choices made; their consequences and the moral decay of modern life. I found the movie a hopeful one and, while not a comedy, there are some comedic moments that tell us Woody isn't taking himself too seriously. The brothers each face their individual crisis after they've murdered someone and Woody's writing allows them to work through the consequences of this act well.
And there's a great shot of London Bridge!
Funnily enough, Jacky wandered into the lounge about an hour into the movie, sat down and watched. At the end I asked her if she liked it - and she did! I then revealed the fact that she'd watched a Woody movie and her comment was, "Yes but he wasn't in it!" Can't argue with that.
Love and peace - W