If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you!
So look away or I’ll… do something untoward to y’all.
Well I had planned that we go see Walk the Line two weeks previous, but as it turned out the screening was too late and the film was too long, so we saw it this week instead, and contrary to what my older sister stood by –it looks crap- I found it to be a good film.
For one, I did not expect anyone else to be in the screen watching it with us, –as usual- I was even more surprised to find that the larger proportion of people taking up the seat were probably at the youngest 65+
Directed by James Mangold –from Copland and Identity- Starring Joaquin Phoenix (John R. Cash), Reese Witherspoon (June Carter), Ginnifer Goodwin (Vivian Cash), Robert Patrick (Ray Cash), Dallas Roberts (Sam Philips), Dan John Miller (Luther Perkins), Larry Bagby (Mashall Grant), and Shelby Lynne (Carrie Cash)
What can I say; the film follows the life of American singer Johnny Cash up until the year 1969. Growing up on a small farm with his family, an accident with a work saw leads to the death of his brother Jack. Speeding up to about 10+ years the film follows Cash as he joins the army and begins to write songs, we speed ahead in time again to where the focus of the film begins; the 60s a time of singing, drugs and women for Mr Cash. As well as divorce marriage and singing in a prison, whoa that was like six spoilers at once, someone put me out, ‘cos I’m on fire here…
Well judging from the films audience I would say it’s for fans of Johnny Cash, or at least people that know who he is. Although I would recommend it for a person that can stand country-esque rock music in a film about a drug addict that looses faith in pretty much everything with a bit of comedy and romance on the side, then watch away; I find that some people these days are very narrow-minded about the films that they watch. I can say that I myself am guilty of such sin, but it’s only because I will not stand to watch most teen horror and most teen comedy, but I’m pretty sure that I am not the only person out there.
Larry Bagby played Larry in Buffy, now that’s where I remembered him from!
I know that due to its release at the opportunistic time that both Phoenix and Witherspoon were both nominated for certain awards due to their portrayals, and I can’t say I blame the award-people… not that I knew June Carter and Johnny Cash personally. But I felt that they’re singing was almost identical to that of their targets, and it will probably revive Cash somewhat, if not here then in America.
Well with the screenplay being based on Cash’s autobiographies I did not actually know what the film was about, nor did I know Cash’s life history, so I can safely say that I did not know what would take place in the film. Though I can say that Gill Dennis who co-wrote the screenplay played Man with a Cigar in Eraserhead, such a small world!
I’ve got to say, this was probably the second film wherein an actor/actress impressed me through singing the songs themselves (the other film was Nicholas Cage singing Love me Tender in Wild at Heart… which was a little creepy in the film)
Well one point in particular that I liked about the film –strangely enough- was that the two Phoenix and Witherspoon really looked like they were involved in the film, for instance in the duets they sing together, they have a good chemistry which makes the film that more enjoyable.
Now I’ve already mentioned the fact that the actors went through vocal training and such, but they are excellent with singing, Cash’s voice is almost identical. Now with Phoenix it wasn’t too much of a surprise that he would do a good job. It was Reese-Legally Blond-Witherspoon that was the real surprise of the film, besides her own singing in the film her onstage performances were the highpoint of her character –off stage she just seemed to nag a bit.
Alongside these points, I must also say I love when a film based on what could be seen as a serious matter, can also turn around and be funny in point, so its not always ha-ha funny, but sweet funny, and its always nice when a film reaches this particular point.
Well as per usual I cannot think of many bad points to the film, although I was a little surprised that they ended it so soon in 1969, and unless someone makes another biopic following after, people will never know exactly what happened to Mr Cash and his re-discovery of god an-all..
Well for an overall comment I thought it was a good film, although I could probably only recommend it to open minded people (that will watch any film), or fans of Johnny Cash –my older sister would not touch the film due to its relation to him, whom she apparently detests.
Cptalbertwesker Rating – 8/10
A nice film, but I did not like the group of four old ladies sat behind myself and my sister that needed to talk to each other about the film, but thankfully they did not spoil the film that much