Elizabeth Gaskell

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  • Tom Wilkinson (left), Ewan McGregor (center) and Colin Farrell appear in "Cassandra's Dream," written and directed by Woody Allen.

    Media Room

    (Weinstein, $24.95) - Woody Allen keeps doing it year after year - turning out solid, thoughtful films. The themes in this London thriller may not be surprising (crime and punishment, guilt and remorse) but the performances the director coaxes out of his stars are. Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell both play against type as brothers who are talked into murder by their uncle (Tom Wilkinson) as an ambitious means of escaping their working-class lives. Mr. McGregor - last seen on-screen as an effete publisher in "Miss Potter" - plays the brash, confident brother who commits the crime with barely a second thought. Mr. Farrell, the swaggering "Miami Vice" star whose appearance as more sensitive characters in this film and in "In Bruges" marked a real artistic turning point, plays the conflicted brother whose guilt over the crime threatens to derail the lives of all three men. As with most Woody Allen releases, there's not a single extra on this disc.

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