Christian Bale, who plays the protagonist in his Greenwich Village folkie phase as well as in his Christian-convert phase a decade later, gets the speaking voice, the cadence, just right. And Cate Blanchett, who takes over the role for the intervening commercialized and electrified and amplified phase, additionally (and paradoxically, as the sole transgender impersonator) gets the look just right for good measure. In the nonsequential narrative, we can be glad whenever either of these two is having a turn. And we can be glad, too, whenever it's Heath Ledger's turn (Ben Winshaw, the sixth impersonator, is but a talking head), if only because Ledger brings with him, in the part of Dylan's wife and the mother of his children, Charlotte Gainsbourg. This completely credible actress, who can look homely and can look lovely and can look in between, has never looked lovelier. Is it age? Maturity?

All three of these are opening next Wednesday.


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