Beck rented Walk the Line tonight for a fireside viewing. I’d been wanting to see it for a while, and just didn’t get to it while it was still on the big screen.
Wow. What a film.
First off, I’d no idea that Johnny Cash had been around so many luminaries of the 50s and 60s: Elvis, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Waylon Jennings and Jerry Lee Lewis among others. For some reason, I never lumped him in that group of early “rockabilly” artists, and always thought of him as an artist that came along after the first wave of that music struck the virtual shores of radio.
Obviously, Cash had a huge dependency on pills — that’s been well documented. How much it affected his life was a surprise. One could say that his addiction to his demons is what brought his salvation at the hands of the Carter family. I loved the scene with Mother Maybelle and family chasing off the pill dealer, shotguns in hand. The real South!
I don’t know why this film didn’t also pick up Oscars for best film and best actor. Joaquin Phoenix was outstanding as Cash. You believed it was him, and even though the voice wasn’t always exactly the way I remembered Johnny Cash’s, the way Phoenix delivered his lines made you believe it was Cash. Simply wonderful.
I also liked the fact that the film closed on the high note of his and June’s engagement. Fitting to end a film with so many low points on such a high one. As Darla will attest, I have problems with films that end “the wrong way” — the guy doesn’t get the girl, etc. This one ended right, and I applaud the folks that made this film for letting it do that! 🙂