"Walk the Line" traces Carter/Cash relationship
"Slow like a train, sharp like a razor"
That's how June Carter described Johnny Cash's voice, a deep baritone we're all familiar with. We're all familiar with his songs, too, after four decades of the gritty, resonating lyrics that defined Johnny Cash. Now we get to see how the Man in Black became a legend in the new movie "Walk The Line."
"Walk The Line" shows the rise of a musical icon, and the many crashes and burns it took to get there. From Cash's humble beginnings singing along to his mother's hymns in the field to a childhood tragedy and abusive, alcoholic father helped shape the backbone of Cash's personal obstacles.
The film follows Cash to his first forays into songwriting while stationed in the Air Force during the Korean War, and into his struggle to become a musician while supporting his first wife Viv and their growing family.
The film keeps pace like a Cash song: steady and deliberate, laying the groundwork for explosive emotion. It skims over the Cash's baby steps into the music business and the relationship with his first wife Viv, and focuses on the milestones that shaped Cash's destiny, like his audition with Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records, and his first meeting with June Carter.
The film devotes much of its two-hour running time to the relationship between Carter and Cash. First touring buddies, then one-time lovers, June and Johnny continued to stumble into each other's lives over the course of their careers. When Cash's addiction to amphetamines and subsequent violent outbursts on tour threatened to end his career and life, dutiful June stuck with him, helping Cash turn his life around.
In the film, even the music is a character, as it parades across the screen with a who's who of the country music world, from Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis to Carl Perkins and Waylon Jennings.
Reese Witherspoon is mature and exuberant as the sassy June Carter. Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Johnny Cash is eerily dead-on, with the baritone voice and hard-living emotion of Cash perfectly tuned.
"Walk The Line" opens today in theaters everywhere.
Boy Named.... said: AWESOME MOVIE!! Great job by Phoenix portraying Johnny Cash, eerie how close he got to sounding, looking, and even acting like Johnny Cash. Excellent, Excellent movie. The first time you see Johnny trying to piece together Folsum Prison Blues you will get chills down your back.
Cheryl said: Joaquin Phoenix was awesome in this movie. His portrayal of Johnny Cash was dead on. Reese and Joaquin did a great job on singing. I would recommend this movie to everyone.
Johnny said: Can't wait to see it. Looks great. Will be interesting to see some more interest in the "man in Black" I shot a man in Reno....
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