Film: Walk the Line

Cast includes: Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator), Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blond)
Screenplay and direction: James Mangold (Kate & Leopold)
Genre: Biographical drama (2005)

In brief: In 1968, as Johnny Cash is “backstage” at Folsom Prison getting ready to record his comeback album for an audience of inmates. We see the cheering, the clapping and the foot stomping. We watch as Cash takes a moment to reflect on the events of his life that have brought him to this moment… his harsh upbringing on an Arkansas cotton farm, his first marriage to a wife who didn’t want to be married to an entertainer, his drinking and drug use, his ten years of wanting to marry June Carter and her ten years of turning him down… and now is his chance for a come back…

Director writer, James Mangold worked for years with members of the Cash family, as well as Johnny and June themselves in developing the script for this film. While it is not a totally accurate account of the early years of Johnny Cash and June Carter, it does capture the spirit of the events, while taking artistic liberties for the sake of good story telling. (Those close to Cash’s first wife are not so happy with the film’s portrayal of her.) For those of us… I include myself… who don’t know that much about the lives of Johnny Cash and June Carter, it’s a wonderfully engrossing story with great music.

popcorn rating

4 popped kernels

Popped kernels for great music, interesting characters, amazing acting and an absorbing story.

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