Walk the Line

Director and co-writer James Mangold all but gives us the day-to-day blow-by-blows of Johnny Cash's early years, from rising Sun to falling star almost done in by amphetamines. For all the affection Mangold feels for Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) and June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), the movie feels oddly dispassionate -- more like a lecturer reading from a required text than someone recounting a story that needed to be told. Phoenix simply doesn't have the weight, the presence, the gravitas of Cash; he's no more Johnny Cash than a two-year-old in a Halloween costume is Batman. He never disappears in the role the way Jamie Foxx did in Ray, never makes us forget we're watching an acolyte repeat the master's words without embodying their meaning. And it doesn't help that Phoenix and Witherspoon sing the songs themselves, rendering theirs the performances of competent karaoke-club entertainers. Phoenix, especially, is no Val Kilmer. Or, for that matter, Jamie Foxx. Or Johnny Cash.

Director:

  • James Mangold

Cast:

  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Robert Patrick
  • Ginnifer Goodwin
  • Larry Bagby
  • Tyler Hilton
  • Shelby Lynne
  • Waylon Payne
  • Dan John Miller
  • Shooter Jennings

Writers:

  • Gill Dennis
  • James Mangold

Producers:

  • James Keach
  • Cathy Konrad

Walk the Line is not showing in any theaters in the area.

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