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THE QUEEN WHO WOULD BE KING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We knew Cate Blanchett could do the regal Brit bit--as she so commandingly demonstrated in 1998's "Elizabeth" and in the current "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." And it came as no surprise that Cate was so persuasive as quintessential movie queen Kate Hepburn, taking home an Oscar for her performance in 2004's "The Aviator." But it does come as a jolt to discover that she makes a more riveting, flakily tormented Bob Dylan than Bob Dylan himself in "I'm Not There." Clearly, this chameleonic Aussie can play any age, any gender and any nationality. But can she travel backward in time with Brad Pitt and bash skulls with Harrison Ford? Browse below for details.

 

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton, Hugh Dancy, Tom Hollander, Abbie Cornish (Directed by Shekhar Kapur; Written by Michael Hirst; Universal) Could it be that Elizabeth I, England’s icy Virgin Queen, had something hot going with occasional adversary Sir Walter Raleigh? Advance word suggests that director Shekhar Kapur, helmer of 1998’s fiery “Elizabeth,” will bring the intriguing subject out into the open in this sequel. Best news of all: Cate Blanchett returns, making a royal effort to nab the Best Actress Oscar she almost got in 1998 (she lost to Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love”). More good news: Raleigh will be played by the unfailingly masterful Clive Owen. Now Playing

I’M NOT THERE: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Julianne Moore, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michelle Williams (Directed by Todd Haynes; Written by Todd Haynes and Oren Overman; The Weinstein Company) Did you ever have the feeling that there’s something baffling, if not downright bizarre, about legendary music man Bob Dylan? Well, the mystery may soon be cleared up in this brazen biopic. Who's been handed the task of acting (and singing) like Dylan in all of his shifting complexity? As it turns out, it took at least five men and one woman to rise to the challenge: Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin and, yes, a notably curly-locked Cate Blanchett. The women in Dylan’s life are played by Julianne Moore, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Michelle Williams (Heath Ledger’s wife in “Brokeback Mountain” and, at least for now, in real life). Director Todd Haynes, who worked wonders with Julianne Moore in “Safe” and “Far From Heaven,” will undoubtedly keep all of these heavyweight performers blowin’ eloquently in the wind. Opens 11/21/07

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent (Directed by Steven Spielberg; Written by David Koepp and Jeff Nathanson; Paramount) Starting with “Sugarland Express” in 1974 and surging through “Jaws” (1975) and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), Steven Spielberg established himself as the fastest-rising director of the late seventies. Then, in 1979, a loser of a war-comedy called “1941” ripped a hole in Spielberg’s rep as an auteur, threatening to dump him into oblivion. The rude shock of that dud did eventually fade and, two years later, mega-blockbuster “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” starring Harrison Ford as two-fisted, whip-snapping archeologist Henry “Indiana” Jones, turned Spielberg into the Comeback Kid. And he’s been back ever since--think “E.T.,” “Empire of the Sun,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “A.I.,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “Munich” (but do not think “The Color Purple,” “Always,” “Hook,” “Jurassic Park,” “Amistad” and “Terminal”). Now, demonstrating loyalty to the bigger-than-life character who put his career back on track, Spielberg spins a fourth chapter in the saga of Indiana Jones. And Harrison Ford will of course be the guy who wields a whip and cracks skulls--with the help of Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf and other choice friends. Opens 5/22/08

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng, Julia Ormond (Directed by David Fincher; Written by Eric Roth; Paramount/Warner Bros.) Brad Pitt will soon turn 50. But don’t feel depressed; just a bit later, the golden boy will be 49, and on the next birthday, he’ll be 48. You get the idea: in the Eric Roth screenplay, based on a story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the hero ages backward, and when he arrives at the ripe young age of 30, he meets the love of his life, a charmer played by Cate Blanchett, who memorably played opposite Pitt in “Babel.” David Fincher, who had Brad working on all cylinders in “Fight Club,” will be at the helm. Opens 11/26/08

 

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