Walk the Line

Title: Program

James Mangold: Walk the Line (USA, 2005)

Produced by Fox 2000 Pictures, Tree Line Films, Konrad Pictures
139 min - 35 mm. English.

Johnny Cash is a musical icon of the order that the mere idea of making a biography film on him must have made a few people very nervous indeed. But the film comes through nicely. It follows Cash's two autobiographies rather faithfully and manages to avoid the perils of too much glorification. The tale of how Johnny Cash travelled all the way from the cotton fields of Arkansas to perform on the same stages with the legends (such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins), as one of the legends, is impressive, rough and full of life.

It was Cash himself who chose Joaquin Phonenix to play him in this film. For the role, Phoenix learned to play the guitar and did it so well that, astonishingly, he sings and plays all the songs in the film himself. But this effort is just trivial compared to Phoenix's marvellous acting. His Johnny Cash is credible and human and could very well be a true-life person even if he were not based on a real character. Also Reese Witherspoon, who plays June Carter, shows the world that she is indisputably a real actress.

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