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June 2008

Time Out - Movies

Cassandra’s Dream
US-Rated: PG-13
German release date: June 5
After Match Point and Scoop—both set in London—Woody Allen continues his British rebirth with this tale of two brothers from the wrong side of the Thames. Ian (Ewan McGregor) helps out in the run-down family restaurant and falls in love with a beautiful fringe theater actress. Angela (Hayley Atwell) seems to attach great importance to her admirers’ status and wealth, so Ian fabricates a sparkling façade as a real-estate mogul. Meanwhile, Ian’s brother, Terry (Colin Farrell), ekes out a living as a car mechanic. His gambling debts have mounted, and a couple of loan sharks are threatening to take his kneecaps for payment. Both brothers are in desperate, dead-end situations when their wealthy uncle offers them a way out. Howard (Tom Wilkinson), a fabulously wealthy surgeon from Beverly Hills, says he would be more than happy to help out his nephews: provided they do him one favor in return.
In Cassandra’s Dream the 72-year-old filmmaker once again returns to exploring the vagaries of chance and the ethics of murder. While the movie might pale in comparison to some of Allen’s greater past works, this drama is proof of his enduring talent for guiding actors. Farrell, in particular, has never been seen with such style and verve on the screen.

The Bank Job
US-rated: R
German release date: June 19

In recent years, the excitement of heist films has been a byproduct of sci-fi technology and unreal cunning, execut- ed with split-second timing. One of the pleasures of The Bank Job is that the closest the crew of robbers comes to high technology is the use of walkie-talkies. Set in 1971 London, this clever thriller is based on a true robbery. Instead of a realistic recount of what happened back then, however, the movie takes some wild fictional twists, and intertwines the low crooks’ greed with the delicate diplomatic intrigues of high politics. The foundation of the fast-moving movie is laid when an indebted car dealer named Terry (Jason Stratham) gets a visit from his old friend and ex-model Martine Love (Saffron Burrows). Martine tells Terry of a bank just begging to be robbed, and Terry all too easily begins to gather his crew of hapless mates to do the job. The only problem is, Martine isn’t interested in the money in the bank: Unbeknownst to Terry, she has been assigned to snatch a stash of pornographic photos involving a member of the royal family.
The Bank Job is a well-fashioned and entertaining tale laced with witty 1970s-style dialogue. It is also a fascinating study of morality at several levels of English society, and of honor—or the lack of it—among implausibly likable thieves. <<<

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