Walk the Line Review

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

In a salute to Johnny Cash who would have celebrated his 82 birthday Feb. 26th and to Joaquin Phoenix who received his third Oscar nomination in February we are looking at Walk The Line

Walk The Line is a dark piece directed by James Mangold starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter.

The opening scenes tell all, silent, penitentiary guards man the parapets with guns loaded. There is no sound. The screen is literally split in half as it pans the exterior. The director frames total darkness on one side of the frame, and gives it a face (authority) on the other. We “enter” the darkness through a series of beautiful tracking shots and the distant thrum of drums becomes an all out dance party in Folsom Prison.

With music from T Bone Burnette you can be sure to get your own military boots shaking in a relief of a film. With a slight foreshadowing of danger the protagonist is enthralled by and begins to touch the sharp pointed edges of a saw blade. We now begin to see how a star; Johnny Cash – deals with the darkness of his past, the light of his future, and the resulting conflict of the two elements within his self.

-Ottaviano Romano

Walk The Line (2005) was based on Johnny Cash’s own book. It chronicles his rise to stardom from his youth on a farm in Arkansas during the Great Depression, his early interest in music, his love of the guitar, a stint in the air force, an early marriage that would later become unbearable, battles with drugs and falling in love with the talented and beautiful June Carter. Johnny Cash would become one of America’s most influential musicians of the 20th century.  He signed with Sun Records in Memphis Tennessee where he recorded “I Walk The Line”, “Ring of Fire”, “Jackson”, “Get Rhythm”, “Man in Black”and the famous “Folsom Prison Blues”. Johnny Cash’s music has been used in countless movies and TV series including most recently Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Killing Them Softly and Silver Linings Playbook.

Joaquin Phoenix gave an incredibly authentic portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk The Line, which earned him his second Oscar nomination. He and Reese Witherspoon (June Carter) had amazing on screen chemistry. Witherspoon won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. In 2007 Joaquin Phoenix won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, for his song recordings inWalk The Line”, recognition that was richly deserved.

-Moira Romano 





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