Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide To This Week’s Movies: Woody, Come Home!

So those Golden Globes were kind of a bust, right? We’re still so furious with NBC for the faux-show put-on by creepy Billy Bush (Why is he on TV? Why?) and Nancy O’Dell, as opposed to just letting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association do their press conference (yay, Jorge Camara!), that we’re going to continue not to watch American Gladiators. So there. More disturbing news from movieland: The Bucket List, which sort of made us feel bad just from watching the trailer, was No. 1 this weekend. Et tu, America? Sigh.

 

THIS WEEKEND BRINGS Woody Allen back to theaters, if not to New York City, with Cassandra’s Dream. The film stars great Scot Ewan McGregor and Irishman Colin Farrell as English working-class brothers (strangely enough, they’re convincing, even though just by the eyebrows alone it’s kind of a stretch). Mr. McGregor’s character is striving for a better life, one that’s been shown to the family by a millionaire uncle (played by the consistently fantastic Tom Wilkinson) whereas Farrell struggles with gambling and pills. After a brief streak of good luck (thanks to the dog races, and a pup named Cassandra’s Dream), the brothers find themselves with their backs against the walls, agreeing to commit murder in order to get out of the hole they’ve collectively dug themselves into. There are all sorts of Greek tragedy overtones, as well as the class consciousness, lust, greed and social striving that infused Mr. Allen’s Match Point. Mr. Farrell is shockingly good (between this and his star turn in the Sundance Film Festival opener, In Bruges, he’s having a very good week), and he and the consistently charming Mr. McGregor carry the film well. It’s hard to judge a Woody Allen movie (because it’s, you know, Woody Allen) without comparing it to the director’s previous works, which may or may not be fair. Cassandra’s Dream doesn’t have the same natural spark as some of his earlier films, and occasionally the dialogue sounds more suited to the stage than the screen, plus there’s an abrupt what-the-hell ending. This is the third movie Mr. Allen has set in London (not a town that pulsates to the great tunes of George Gershwin, which may be why Philip Glass provides the rousing score), and while we too remain fans of all things British, we’re ready for him to come back to New York where he belongs.

Cassandra’s Dream opens Friday at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema.

 

MORALITY, IN A much more visual (and chompy) way comes courtesy of Teeth. The movie was a big hitter at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and it has taken over a year of getting bounced around before finally arriving in theaters. No surprise, really, as the film is all about a young woman afflicted with the mythological condition of vagina dentata, or a vagina with teeth. Jess Weixler stars as Dawn (for more on Ms. Weixler, see page C3), a young woman who is so chaste that she wears a chastity ring on her finger and leads youth groups in celebratory celibacy. That is, until she is forced to confront her, um, condition when she is assaulted. The movie trips delicately on the line between dark comedy and camp horror film, and you gotta admire director Mitchell Lichenstein’s yeah-we’re-going-there attitude. ’Cause he does. The creepy kid from Nip/Tuck (John Hensley) shows up, too, and is even creepier than usual.

Teeth opens Friday at Village East Cinema. Sara Vilkomerson’s Guide To This Week’s Movies: Woody, Come Home!