"Morality Tale – What If God Does Indeed Exist?"
What You Need To Know:
CASSANDRA’S DREAM may be Woody Allen’s best drama. It is one of the best morality tales to come along in several years. This well-acted drama is a tragedy, so there is no redemption at the end, but justice does occur. In fact, the movie strongly mocks moral relativism and even points people to God. It also shows that the wages of sin is death. The movie contains plenty of foul language and an implied scene of pre-marital sex, however, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(BB, LLL, V, S, N, A, DD, MM) Strong moral worldview that shows the sinfulness of human beings, mocks moral relativism, implicitly rebukes selfish greed, and gets discerning viewers, including perhaps atheists, secularists and nominalists, to think a second time about whether there is indeed a God who will hold them accountable for their actions, plus a comment about having broken God’s Law; 9 obscenities (no “f” words), 24 strong profanities and 16 light exclamatory profanities (such as My God!); light violence includes murder occurs off screen with two shots heard, brief fighting in one scene, and a man falls, breaking some wooden furniture and hitting his head; implied fornication with unmarried couple kissing in bed, another unmarried couple lives together and man dumps girlfriend for a more glamorous woman; brief upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking and man takes pills to salve his conscience and calm his shattered emotions because of the guilt eating away at his heart; and, selfishness implicitly rebuked, greed implicitly rebuked, gambling implicitly rebuked, dysfunctional family portrayed (but parents clearly love their flawed young sons, and one son helps ill father take care of family restaurant), and rich uncle in trouble extorts a terrible favor from two poor nephews in need of money.
CASSANDRA’S DREAM is one of Woody Allen’s best dramas. Though it plays like a Greek tragedy, it certainly is one of the most moral dramas he’s ever made, despite implied sexual content in one scene and plenty of foul language.
The story is about two brothers in London, Ian and Terry. Terry is a compulsive gambler on a winning streak and Ian is a go-getter who wants a better life than helping his father run the family’s struggling restaurant. They buy a small sailing boat together, but, after using it a few times, other things attract their attention.
For Terry, it’s a high-stakes poker game. For Ian, it’s a beautiful young actress named Angela.
Terry and Ian’s world comes crashing down when Terry’s poker gambling results in him owing 90,000 pounds to loan sharks. Ian tries to help his brother out by giving Terry some of the savings Ian has accrued for a business investment in two California hotels he’s planning and by secretly borrowing money from the family restaurant. The money’s not enough to pay off Terry’s debt, and Ian still needs the savings back to invest in his California dreams.
Terry and Ian see a way out, when their mother’s rich uncle from overseas, Howard, suddenly makes an unplanned visit. Howard is glad to put Ian’s girlfriend in touch with some Hollywood people he knows in California. He’s also willing to help Terry pay off his debt and look into supporting Ian’s hotel investment plan. Howard has one small favor, however. He wants Terry and Ian to murder a man who’s about to testify against Howard and possibly put Howard in jail for life.
Though shocked and incredulous at first, Ian convinces Terry to do the murder for Uncle Howard. Despite misgivings, Terry goes through with the plan. What Terry, and Ian and Uncle Howard, didn’t expect, however, was the terrible guilt that Terry would feel for committing such a heinous act. What if there is indeed a God? Terry asks Ian.
CASSANDRA’S DREAM is one of the best morality tales to come along in several years. This well-acted drama is a tragedy, however, so there is no redemption at the end, but justice does occur, in a metaphysical sense. In addition, discerning viewers, and viewers of faith and values, will find the moral and religious questions engendered by Woody Allen to be quite stimulating, profound and worthwhile, if not heart-breaking. In fact, the movie strongly mocks moral relativism and even points people to God. It also shows that the wages of sin is death.
The movie contains plenty of foul language and an implied scene of pre-marital sex, however, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.