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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Abel et Cain

Abel and Cain - Film Review

Translated Monday 5 November 2007, by Helen Robertshaw

As films go, it’s nothing special. This year’s Woody Allen is a disappointing vintage.

Cassandra’s Dreams, by Woody Allen.

United States, 1 hr 43.

The third English film in a row by Woody Allen, this time without any American actors, Cassandra’s Dreams tells the story of two brothers who belong to a much lower social stratum than the one normally inhabited by the director’s characters. Terry (Colin Farrell), who lives with Kate (Sally Hawkins), fritters all the couple’s money away on gambling and alcohol. Ian (Ewan McGregor), who runs a restaurant with his father, dreams of investing in California. Both brothers are therefore in need of money. They usually sponge money off their uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson), but this time he asks them for a little favour in return: he merely asks them to commit a murder, nothing too serious. Around this plot, which belongs more to the fantasy genre than it does to film noir, Woody Allen tries to construct a film which is unlike any of his others. No transference onto his heroes, no phobia projection, not even the slightest Jewish joke or reference to New York. And the result is that the film seems strangely impersonal. It’s certainly not boring. The overall quality is there; the cinematography is by Vilmos Zsigmond and the music by Phillip Glass. However, whereas this film would be just about acceptable had it been made by somebody else, it can only disappoint viewers who have come to expect more from such a distinguished director. You’re not allowed to make any old film when you’re not just any old director.

J. R.


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