Singer. Rebel. Outlaw. Hero. With his driving freight-train chords, steel-eyed intensity and a voice as dark as the night, the legendary “Man in Black” revolutionized music – and forged his legacy as a genuine American icon. Golden Globe nominees Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon star (and sing) as Johnny Cash and June Carter in this inspiring true story of one man’s unwavering devotion to his sound, his message and the greatest love of his life.
Walk the Line (2005) a compelling journey back to music’s greatest leap into our hearts. We are taken by Director James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, 3:10 to Yuma) to witness the rise of the late Johnny Cash (played by Oscar nominated Joaquin Phoenix) The viewer shares in the development of not only Johnny’s creative mind but shares in his vulnerable spirit, racked by alcohol, drugs and his love for a woman unflinching of his advances.
Taken mainly from his memoirs “Man in Black”, this wonderfully filmed biopic introduces us to Johnny’s boyhood on an Arkansas cotton farm where he begins life’s hardships with the death of his older brother. Johnny’s deep seated pain, blended with a mother inspired love of spiritual music, emerges during his rise through Sun Records where his songs display hardships endured, not only by Johnny, but the era as well. Through his lyrics we learn of the Man in Blacks frustration, pain, yet mostly, desire and love for singer June Carter (played by Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon).
Walk the Line is a terrific finger-snapping, serious, and in the right places, humorous look at one of modern music’s, and our nations, most revered and loved icons. This film proves “Love is a Burning Thing”… and beautifully so.
This special 2 disc re-release features 17 extra minutes of bonus footage, extended musical sequences, director commentary, featurettes and more. It’s definitely worth picking up.
Review by Henry P. Gravelle