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Movie Review

Cassandra’s Dream a.k.a. “El Sueño de Cassandra,” “Le Rêve de Cassandre,” “Sogni e delitti,” “Cassandra’nin rüyasi,” “Cassandras Traum,” “To Oneiro tis Kassandras”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexual material and brief violence

Reviewed by: Margaret Hays

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
1 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
January 18, 2008 (limited—107 theaters); DVD: May 27, 2008
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Copyright, The Weinstein Company
Relevant Issues
Copyright, The Weinstein Company

How far should family loyalty go?

the strong tendency of sinful humans to justify their actions and repress their God-given consciences

sin and the fall of man

goodness and righteousness

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer


Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be.

How can we know there’s a God? Answer

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

Other issues

Gambling—Should Christians be involved with lotteries or other forms of gambling? Answer






Dog racing

Brother brother relationships

Uncle nephew relationships

Featuring: Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, Tom Wilkinson, Peter-Hugo Daly, John Benfield, Clare Higgins, Ashley Madekwe, Andrew Howard, Hayley Atwell, Sally Hawkins, Keith Smee, Stephen Noonan, more »
Director: Woody Allen
Producer: Letty Aronson, Brahim Chioua, Charles H. Joffe, Vincent Maraval, Jack Rollins, Stephen Tenenbaum, Ben Waisbren, Gareth Wiley, Daniel Wührmann
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

“How far will you go to make your dreams come true?”

This movie was an interesting experience for me. It dragged, at first, and I got tired of the raunch. Nobody was modest, nobody was pure, nobody seemed to believe fornication was wrong. Loose morals everywhere. Then, in a kind of twist, things changed, and the film took on a different feel. The movie seemed to forget it had been about sex and began to become a compelling story of two brothers faced with a difficult dilemma in Britain.

They buy a boat, “Cassandra’s Dream,” and enjoy taking their girls out on it. But the brothers are flawed and have money troubles. In comes well-heeled Uncle Howard, a well-off plastic surgeon in L.A. He’s in trouble, too, but not monetarily. He needs someone bumped off, and he’ll bail out his nephews in exchange for them assassinating the man he hates. It is at this point that the story had my attention. One brother faced this situation with determination—a chance to better his life, the other brother didn’t want to commit murder. It is a tale now of here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly:

The good

  • The family really cares about each other, especially the two brothers.

  • The brothers want to help their uncle and each other, simply because “its family.”

  • One of the brothers, Terry, is guilt ridden, because, as he admits, he broke God’s law. (ah… how wonderful—a conscience!) But the other brother denies that there even IS a god.

The bad

  • Many sexual references.

  • Ian finds himself a slutty girlfriend who has no problem acting in the nude and doing sex scenes on stage (which we are spared—nicely refreshing!).

  • The Name of Jesus Christ is profaned many times in this film.

  • A lot of drinking and several instances of drug use.

The ugly

  • This is not a “feel good” movie; it become dark and moody.

  • Cold-blooded murder is committed.

  • This movie is supposedly “a dark-comedy,” but it is really a tragedy. I believe you won’t find yourself laughing at anything. Rather, you will be shaking your head at what messes people can get themselves into.

All in all, Woody Allen, who wrote and directed, is a very talented writer. The script is interesting, though I regretted the crude sexual references and the Name of Jesus taken in vain. If you enjoy characterizations, you may enjoy this movie. It is not full of action, comedy, or even romance. If you are prone to “the blues,” I believe you will find this movie depressing.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—While this is not an uplifting movie by any stretch of the imagination, I did enjoy it for its foray into the mind of mankind and the exploration of family loyalty. Two brothers, through their own poor choices, need money; their rich uncle, having committed some crimes within his company, asks them to murder a witness in return for the money they need. He cites family loyalty as motivation enough. Using this as justification, they go along with the plan.

After the murder, one brother is repentant and desperate to know if God can forgive him. The other stifles his conscience, denies God’s existence, and eventually grows completely numb to his own depravity, all while maintaining a like-able character. (***SPOILER*** The film does not end well for either of the pair. ***END SPOILER***)

To me, this sends an excellent message about the nature of sin and its corrupting influence. Humanity possesses an incredible ability to justify our actions and repress our God-given consciences. This movie provides a look down the rabbit hole at what can happen if you allow these tendencies to spiral out of control.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Christina, age 21 (USA)

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