CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN (John Madden) brings Louis de Bernières's best-selling WWII novel to the big screen. Current hottie Penélope Cruz stars as Pelagia, the Greek villager who falls for Italian soldier Corelli (Nicolas Cage), a captain in Mussolini's occupying army. The Brit publishing phenomenon has sold so well there's a copy in one out of every 20 households. Director Madden, who gave us Shakespeare In Love, has the skill to deliver a sweeping love story. But can he and his actors satisfy expectant fans of the novel? Some are distressed by the casting of Cage as the larger-than-life hero who makes Pelagia forget about her fisherman fiancé, Mandras (Christian Bale). Known for his offbeat mannerisms, Cage may bring his trademark weirdness rather than the required exuberance to the role. 120 minutes.