Walk the Line

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Walk the Line
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Walk the Line tells us the story of music legend Johnny Cash from his humble beginnings as the son of a cotton farmer in Arkansas to his rise to one of the greatest entertainers of his time. The movie touches a little bit on his difficult childhood and his time spent serving in the army overseas and then focuses on his first marriage, his first recording contract with many to follow, his tumultuous relationship with his father and his undying love for June Carter. We see Cash and Carter touring America with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley (who incidentally was the person who allegedly gave Cash his first drugs) and Carl Perkins and it is during this time that he develops an addiction to pills and alcohol that nearly destroys him. With the help of some friends, family and June Carter, Cash is eventually able to defeat his demons and after several failed attempts, he successfully proposes to June at a concert in "Ontario, Canada" (according to the movie). The movie features many of Cash's greatest hits and his famous recording at Fulsom Prison. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter. The movie is directed by James Mangold.

Walk the Line is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that is further strengthened by outstanding performances by both Phoenix and Witherspoon. So good that I am sure we will hear at least one, if not both, names mentioned come Oscar season. The music in the movie is excellent and sure to leave you tapping your foot during the movie or singing "Ring of Fire" in your head after you leave the theater.

I have to say, I would have liked to have seen the movie cover a bit more of Cash's life. The movie just sort of ends once Cash and Carter get together. But with that being said, it was still a wonderful journey through the life of a great entertainer and just watching Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon perform and the chemistry between them was simply a fantastic movie experience. I can understand why Walk the Line basically covers only the years between 1955 to 1968. It would be too difficult to cover, in any sort of detail, the entire life of a man like Johnny Cash and would probably do no justice to his life trying to do that. But the movie does a good job of briefly touching on Cash's early years so perhaps it could have done so with his later years.

My only other comment would be again, about Witherspoon and Joaquin. I have always been a fan of Reese Witherspoon and enjoyed her in movies like Election and Sweet Home Alabama but in Walk the Line she takes her acting to another level. I'm not sure if she and Joaquin actually did their own singing in the movie but I think I read somewhere that they did. If that is the case, then I am even more amazed by what they accomplished on the screen. If not, well, I'm still pretty damn impressed. Impressed by both the fantastic performances and a very, very solid movie.

Keyword : Oscar, Reese Witherspoon, Rio, Music, You, Dev, Ant, Ate, Basic, Cover, EMI, Ex, First Marriage, Good, Here, Love, Once, Out, Phoenix, RV, Screen, Take, The Greatest, Thor, Troy, Walk the Line, Will, GTH, PTS, Bi, Eric, M., Cas


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