Saturday, April 22, 2006

Walk The Line

I was so excited to find the red Netflix envelope containing Walk The Line in my mailbox late last week. I really enjoy the work of Joaquin Phoenix, and I was eager to see Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon in her break-out dramatic role. Mostly, though, I was interested in learning more about the life of Johnny Cash. I knew his 'Man in Black' image and some of his music, but I knew little about who he was as a person.

What I did know consisted of a comic book I remember reading in the mid-70s, designed to teach kids to stay away from drugs. As I recall, the comic contained stories of how drugs ruined the lives of Cash, some Dallas Cowboy players and an actor or two. (I remember reading it as I was drying corn silk, which I would later roll up into faux smokes.)

Walk The Line does a nice job of revealing the evolving relationship between Cash and June Carter. Phoenix is wonderful as Cash, portraying him in a very honest and transparent way. Witherspoon is believable in her supporting role, and made the movie really enjoyable. The character (and June Carter too, I think) would be much less likeable without her humorous and generous personality. But, the best part of the film to me is the first 15 minutes, when you are given insight into the reasons for Cash's intense need for success, and for his pervasive insecurity. For me, this was by far the most interesting part of the movie.

Overall, a fine film with terrific acting. Check it out yourownself. ***

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