Sunday, November 27, 2005

eyeCandy: Walk The Line (2005) 5/5

I just got back from seeing the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, and it is a fantastic movie. Credible biopics like this one have an important element that allows them to transcend your average Hollywood film: they are true. You don't (or shouldn't) have to get distracted by something that happens that seems implausible and likely attributable to the small-minded studio system - because these things really have happened. Sure, you'll always be looking at the story through the filmmaker's lens, but the fact that the lens is depicting actual events from our history infuses the best of this "genre" with a power that is hard to ignore (Cinderella Man very much had this quality). Anyway, back to the film at hand.

Walk The Line chronicles the life of one of America's legendary songsmen. Johnny Cash made music for the people from 1955, the release of his first singles, until his death in 2003 (a scant four months after his wife's death, which is quite touching given that this relationship plays a central theme in the movie). Through drug addiction, the death of his young brother, difficulties with his critical father, and love, a legend in American music is born and lives. Contemporaries like Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis appear through Cash's early career, and the picture takes us along a fascinating path through the personal history of the iconic Man In Black.

Joaquin Phoenix is wonderful as Johnny Cash, emulating his voice very effectively without quite impersonating him, and Reese Witherspoon is perfect as June Carter. This is the first 2 hour and 15 minute plus theatre movie that I've exited in a while without feeling that there was some excess that could have been trimmed to good effect. The story is poignant and real, the filmmaking is undeniably solid, and the movie as a whole was a pleasure to watch.

PS: The movie website has some cool additional info and is worth checking out.
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11/27/2005 05:30:00 p.m.  


Anonymous Amber Mac said...

Ooh, I LOVED this good ;). And now I can't turn "Cash" off in my house...driving people crazy I'm sure!


November 28, 2005 8:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Justin Thorp said...

This movie was pretty fantastic. The story was really well crafted. You could feel both Johnny Cash's desire and love for June Carter and the desire to have a quality relationship with his father. I think this was an Oscar worthy performance for Joaquin Phoenix.

November 29, 2005 10:55 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

The movie was really well executed. Considering what a stellar job was done on "Ray" with Jamie Foxx, I'm really looking forward to some more top-rate biopic entertainment about some of the other greats.

December 15, 2005 1:37 p.m.  

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