If Match Point and this new trailer for Cassandra’s Dream are any indication, Woody Allen’s vigorousness as a filmmaker seems directly related to the viciousness of the material. When the seventy-one-year-old writer-director tried to downshift back to comedy after Match Point, he delivered the pleasant but forgettably benign Scoop (which, I’ll admit, is better than the downright detestable duo of Anything Else and Hollywood Ending). Whatever is going on in the Woodman’s mind as he settles into the last act of his life, it couldn’t be further removed from what his cinematic hero, Ingmar Bergman, was pondering via film at the same age.
If this means more above-average Woody Allen movies, I’m all for it. Though he’s still a very funny man (as evidenced by some of his recent contributions to The New Yorker), it’s tragedy and murder and all manner of darkness that interests him as a filmmaker. Woody’s been plenty dour before, but never this unremittingly nasty; watch the below trailer and tell me you’d be able to identify it as a Woody Allen picture without the "film by" credit.
Cassandra’s Dream will court prestige pic approval in just a few weeks at the Venice Film Festival. It will then screen at the Toronto Film Festival before opening in limited release on November 30th.