New in theaters I'm Not There (R)
Director: Todd Haynes. With Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett. (135 min.)
"I'm Not There" offers up a daring conceit and then falls apart trying to fulfill it. The film uses different actors to impersonate Bob Dylan throughout the various stages of his motley career. As a young boy, Dylan is black (Marcus Carl Franklin). Later, he is a womanizing troubadour (Heath Ledger), folk idol (Christian Bale), evangelist (Ben Whishaw), and Western outlaw (Richard Gere). None of these incarnations is remotely revelatory. But as Dylan the rock star, Cate Blanchett is nuanced and soulful – she's flabbergasting. Grade: C– – Peter Rainer
Love in the Time of Cholera (R)
Director: Mike Newell. With Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt. (138 min.)
The famous Gabriel García Márquez novel is about a poet and telegraph clerk, Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem), who falls in love as a young man with the beautiful Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). Because her social-climbing father (John Leguizamo) forbade the love affair, Fermina instead takes up with an aristocratic physician (Benjamin Bratt). Florentino spends the next 50 years trying to rekindle the flame, often from afar. The film is attenuated and woozy – not so much García Márquez as a high-class telenovela. Grade: B– – P.R.