Walk the Line (2005)

DailyView: Day 241, Movie 334

This movie has been on the watch list since the DailyView began back in April but the timing never worked out. When I extended the DailyView to be 365 days, I placed the image of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon on the banner so that I would make sure not to skip it.

Walk the Line is the biopic of country/rock music legend, Johnny Cash with a heavy part of the biopic focusing on the relationship Cash had with his eventual wife June Carter Cash.

Johnny Cash faced a lot of conflict in his life which led him to his marriage with June. Johnny went through drug problems, a violent temper, father (Robert Patrick) issues, the death of his older brother (Lucas Till) when he was a child, divorce, jail. Johnny Cash dealt with his demons with his music and the relationship to June Carter and she stuck by him despite his bad behavior.

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were brilliant in these roles, both receiving Oscar nominations for them. Witherspoon took home the Academy Award for June Carter. The film absolutely rested on the powerhouse performances by both of these two actors in the challenging life of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer.

The music was excellent as well. Both Phoenix and Wetherspoon did their own singing for Walk the Line, the soundtrack winning a Grammy. Their roles are not an imitation of the iconic duo, but they bring the essence of John and June Carter Cash to the screen in many elegant and some not-so elegant ways.

A shout out should also go to Ginnifer Goodwin for her efforts in the role of Vivian Cash. She brought some serious acting chops into that role (and eventually went into Storybrooke as Snow White in Once Upon a Time). Goodwin was tremendous opposite Phoenix as Johnny’s first wife.

It was about time that this film made the DailyView. It is an exceptional biopic. There have been some controversy that they ignored a lot of Johnny Cash’s life and omitted some of the political aspects of his world, but it is not as if there was not already rich material to use. Walk the Line is excellent.

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