What’s up, I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews: movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today let’s talk about Walk the Line, an American biography film released in 2005 and directed by James Mangold.
It’s a biopic of the legendary musician Johnny Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon).
This video marks the return of the Oscars Badge Series, in which we’ll talk about every movie on IMDb’s Oscars lists (link below).
This one is an extra because they didn’t include the Leading Actress in 2006’s List.
Like last time, I’ll do a whole year and then stop a little, so I don’t get bored to death. Let’s begin.
Walk the Line is a quite straightforward movie telling the story of Johnny Cash since his early days in the cotton fields with his family until his marriage to June Carter.
There is no filler bullshit and no excessive montages. It has (as far as I know) the key moments of his life, like the death of his brother, jack, the beginning of his career, and when he finally meets June in person, after many years admiring her at a distance from the radio and magazines.
They included a lot of shit that actually happens in his life. For example, when his brother is dying and he’s saying: “Somebody do something! Somebody do something!“. That actually happened, according to his sister.
In general, the movie is quite serious, dramatic, but it doesn’t have over-emotional, tear-baiting bullshit. Walk the line evokes a lot of emotions, but is not melodramatic at all. I would say the feelings I got the most from the movie are all positive.
The romantic relationship between Johnny and June is very compelling. And if sometimes couples can get on my nerves (like in the movie Beckett), that’s not the case at all here. I love them together.
But the film is not all romance and drama. I remember laughing and having fun while watching it. So, it has some more light-hearted moments.
Talking about fun, June is very pleasant and amusing since the very first scene she’s in. Johnny Cash, on the other hand, takes a while to establish himself (as an adult, at least).
He begins as a very strange figure. He seems a much more awkward and silent man, a lot different from the notorious persona of Johnny Cash. Later he becomes a much better character. It’s like a shy person, at first apprehensive and constrained, but after a while, the person gets loose, and everything goes much better.
If the movie Ray got me the impression Ray Charles was an awful person, Walk the Line didn’t have the same effect on me, regarding Johnny Cash. Besides his problems with drugs and alcohol, he is never portrayed as a shitty person. Quite on the contrary, he seems very admirable and looking for the admiration of his father.
Anyway, my favorite character was June. And Reese Witherspoon’s performance is flawless. That’s why she got the Oscar for it. It’s a really captivating performance.
Like Joaquin Phoenix. He is just amazing… in absolutely everything he does, really. Easily one of my favorite actors, probably ever. I prefer him over DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis, for example.
He does a phenomenal job in Walk the Line, and he has a direct responsibility in evoking all the feelings the movie evoked. His performance was already touching even before the introduction of June, and after it, he only became even better.
And now, thinking about that. If I said June was my favorite character, I gotta say, actually the dynamic of the two as a duo is even superior, and it’s probably the best thing of the whole movie.
A character/ performance I have to mention is Ginnifer Goodwin as Vivian Cash, Johnny’s first wife. Her character is a little annoying, but we completely understand why she is that way.
In the beginning, Johnny didn’t have how to provide for Viv and the kids but kept acting like a dreamer, pursuing his musical career. Later, he is very disrespectful to her, because even before the divorce, he is all about June, and he didn’t even hide it. So, I think she’s a reasonable and well-created character.
However, Ginnifer Goodwin’s outstanding performance was or caught me off guard. I knew her previously from Once Upon a Time, however, Once Upon a Time it’s kind of weak. I didn’t expect anything from her from watching Once Upon a Time. I mean, I didn’t expect shit from anyone from there. However, now after seeing her in Walk the Line, she’s much more on my radar.
Another enjoyable thing is the camera work. Although subtle, it always enhances what the movie is trying to convey. A good example is when Cash and his band are doing the first audition:
Allied with a good editing, we have a slow zoom in on Cash and the band, while sometimes showing the reaction of the recording company owner. There is no dialogue, only Cash singing, and the guy’s reaction. Yet, from that alone, we know the outcome of the audition.
The score is composed mostly of Johnny Cash’s songs and some other country singers of his surroundings, so, it’s good by itself. However, what impressed me the most was how the music was used, the context in which it was used.
So, they would play a particular song that would make sense with what was being shown to us. For example, Johnny and June were singing a song about a guy who didn’t give much of a fuck about his partner, and in the background, we could see Johnny’s wife, Vivian, with a very angry face.
Walk the Line is an excellent biopic of Johnny Cash and an outstanding movie. It’s full of emotion, and the performances are deserving of all praises in the world. I’m really glad I watch it again, and I’ll give Walk the Line 9 Moons!
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Thanks for watching see you in the next video.