Monday, November 28, 2005
Walk The Line
On Friday night Jessica and I attended the late screening of the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line. This was a movie that I had a lot of high expectations for as I am quite a fan of the legendary Johnny Cash's work.
I'm pleased to say that all of the high expectations were warranted and met. It was an exceptional movie.
Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter give what are likely the performances of their lives as they bring the story of young Cash's life to the silver screen. I think that the two of them would be cheated if their names weren't on Oscar ballots come the spring. In fact, not only was their acting top-notch, but all the singing? Yep, it was done by them too. It's uncanny how well Joaquin Phoenix, especially, can sound like the Man in Black. I'm almost of the mind that he should try releasing a few albums under the production of Rick Rubin since Johnny isn't around to do that anymore.
What I appreciated most about the movie was that it was a fairly well-rounded biopic. If you take a movie like La Bamba, which chronicled the life of Ritchie Valens, you'll see a movie that is more linear with its narrative. It was a good movie, don't get me wrong, but basically you have a story of a man who was afraid of flying and, through a tragic turn of events, dies in a plane crash, but it's very straightforward. Walk The Line was layered very well and presented a very dynamic Johnny Cash in the sense that it's not entirely a movie about his rise to fame, it's not entirely about his fight with Columbia to record and release At Folsom Prison, it's not entirely about his struggle with drug addiction, or the evolution of his relationship with June, or his dealing with the untimely death of his older brother and reconciling differences with his father. All of these little subplots seem to be woven together and present a good tapestry that was Johnny Cash's life. Mind you, some of these subplots are kind of underdeveloped, especially Johnny's reconciling of his differences with his father, but I would imagine some of the exposition had to fall by the wayside for time constraints and to keep a smoother flowing movie overall.
What this does, ultimately, though, is make me want to learn more about the man life. I think I should definitely check out his autobiography sometime.
If you're a fan of Cash or you're in the mood for a good rock and roll story, Walk The Line is definitely the movie for you.