Cassandra's Dream (Dir. Woody Allen/2007)
Social-status is rarely explicit in Allen’s films. Upper-class New Yorkers philosophising about life is more down his street, and placing characters in the top rungs of society mean relationships and death are the only things worth thinking about. Set within the cloudy and rain-sodden streets of London, Cassandra’s Dream bucks the trend as brothers Ian (McGregor) - a restaurant-owner - and Terry (Farrell) - a content car-mechanic - turn to their mysterious Uncle Howard (Wilkinson) for money. Ian and Terry just need to kill someone for Uncle Howard and the money is theirs. Allen’s trademark cynicism and insight gives food for thought but it doesn’t make up for the lack of urgency in such a steady-paced film. The family dynamics toys with relationships between fathers and sons – and envy and expectation. Underrated, Cassandra’s Dream may not be his best – but it introduces a class attitude we have rarely seen before.