Have you seen the poster for Cassandra's Dream? You'd think Woody Allen's name still had enough cachet to draw in the punters. The marketeers who hope you'll be rushing to see his new film when it opens on Friday obviously don't think so. I can't find a copy of the poster online but it advertises Cassandra's Dream as "The new film from the director of Match Point". That's the film Phillip French in the Observer called "disappointing" with "clumsy, lumbering dialogue that draws unintentional laughter" and The Village Voice critic Michael Atkinson reckoned to be, "a modest and mildly pretentious mediocrity in the Woodman canon". Not exactly Annie Hall or Crimes and Misdemeaners then.
In smaller print, under pictures of Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor, the poster does say something like "a Woody Allen film". This is more than US cinemagoers got. From the looks of it, the American poster barely mentions the writer/director's name at all. Where does Woody Allen still get respect? It's an easy question. The French still adore an auteur. There, the poster proudly displays that Le Reve de Cassandre is "Un Film de Woody Allen". No wonder he loves a trip to Cannes.
By all accounts Cassandra's Dream is another stinker in Allen's recent CV so it's no surprise the publicists are hoping to lure fans of Miami Vice rather than Manhattan to the film. I must admit I've not seen any of his new films since The Curse of Jade Scorpion six or seven years ago and I'd consider myself a Woody Allen fan. It is sad to see a once great filmmaker churn out mediocre work though. Thankfully, some of the great directors from the 70s are still making decent films and I'm looking forward to "the new picture from the director of The Departed" next year.