Walk the Line - Review

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The first time I saw Walk the Line, I fell in love with Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Johnny Cash. I began to wear flannels, attempt insane guitar patterns, and sing so low I even got strep throat. That is a testament to the inspiration and reality that Walk the Line offers, and with the help of Joaquin Phoenix, it is elevated to greatness.

            One of the most surprising and amazing things about Walk the Line is Joaquin Phoenix’s haunting baritone voice. I found myself wanting to listen to Joaquin’s covers of classic Johnny Cash more than the Man in Black’s originals. In addition to a truly unmatched voice, Joaquin Phoenix brings one of the greatest performances of his career, expertly bringing to life the physical and emotional torment Johnny Cash went through.

            In addition to Joaquin’s riveting performance, Reese Witherspoon brings amazing heart and determination to the role of June Carter. The way the movie introduces June as a young up-and-coming singer that Johnny as a young boy listens to is simply perfect. Reese Witherspoon also brings a standout voice to June Carter. It may not be as addicting as Joaquin’s, but it is still enjoyable and convincing. One of the most recognizable things about Witherspoon’s character is the development she undergoes throughout her relationship with Cash. From admiring Cash to loathing him, Witherspoon gives a completely convincing performance.

Summary

Walk the Line is a perfect example of how to do a biopic right. Standout performances from both Phoenix and Witherspoon bring the emotional heart and energy to the film that does more than enough justice to the source material.

Pros- Performances, music, unique storytelling

Cons- No modern Johnny Cash