Judi Dench was fabulous, as always. It's amazing how different she looks in this movie (like hell), as compared to Casino Royale (gracefully and fashionably aged). I really didn't know her character was going to be quite so dark. I knew she was going to be manipulative, but I didn't see the chronic virgin, sociopathic, obsessive, and dillusional lesbian bit coming.
She is such a versatile actress, and I think she might well be one of my favorites. Also, I love her as a narrator. If she could read me bedtime stories... I would never have difficulty sleeping again.
Cate Blanchett was supremely beautiful, as always. I don't think there's any way she could ever not be attractive. Even when she's got eyeliner and mascara smeared halfway down her face and she's roaring at the cracktastic media, she's gorgeous. I can't imagine how awkward some of the filming must have been... Especially the scenes involving having sex with a 15-year-old. Just sayin'.
Nevertheless, she sold it and honestly, some of the dialogue - especially during the confession scene - could have been pretty catastrophic pretty easily. And this is why we love Cate, other than the fact that she's breathtakingly gorgeous.
The movie was kind of hard to watch, but I think that added to the overall effect. It was really uncomfortable, but it's such a difficult subject to even discuss let alone watch. Still, it's a very well-done movie. Gripping, disturbing, and just... good.
In short, highly recommended.