Cate Blanchett is brilliant in the leading role of Annie Wilson in this wonderful movie. Blanchett is approaching Streep-status in her ability to completely embrace her role and pivot a movie into its highest potential. She is aided by a wonderful script by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson; the beautiful and evocative music by Christopher Young; Jamie Anderson's gorgeous camerawork and a stupendous supporting cast: Hilary Swank, Greg Kinnear (a much better actor than one would have thought); Keanu Reeves (his most effective performance yet); Giovanni Ribisi (remarkable in his role as a troubled car mechanic); Gary Cole, Kim Dickens, Katie Holmes, and even Rosemary Harris' small role as Annie's grandma. Sam Raimi's pacing is excellent, and there are some extremely powerful scenes.
But the movie is Miss Cate's and she is awesome to watch.
A real winner!