I'm Not There
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com
If Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home was the definitive documentary portrait of Bob Dylan, Todd Haynes's I'm Not There is its speculative, often whimsical counterpart—it's a dream of Dylan, or maybe several of them. Six actors play different incarnations of the ever-evolving musician: Christian Bale disappears into a dual role as the righteous folkie of the early '60s and the born-again prophet of the late '70s, while Cate Blanchett's uncanny spin on the Blonde on Blonde–era provocateur prompted a great deal of award-season buzz. The real discovery among the rotating leads, though, is 14-year-old Marcus Carl Franklin, who, in the film's most inspired leap, plays the preadolescent Dylan as a charismatic African-American kid who travels by boxcar and likes to introduce himself as Woody Guthrie.

Also winning multiple awards was Jason Reitman's sweet-and-salty comedy Juno, about a smartass teenager (Ellen Page) who's pregnant by her bemused best friend (Superbad's Michael Cera) and enmeshed in a complicated relationship with the baby-to-be's adoptive parents (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman). Page, another young talent to watch, turns in an irresistible performance as the title character. Nuanced portraits of young women may be in short supply, but Juno is exemplary—at once irreverent, hyperarticulate, vulnerable, and startlingly strong.

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