We watched "Walk the Line" last night. I had been looking forward to it ever since I first heard about it. I'm not much into country music, but have become quite interested in Johnny Cash's life and career-- especially later in his life. It all started the first time I saw his video for "Hurt." That little piece of film caught my attention immediately, and after it was over I said to the wife, "He's saying goodbye." Best music video ever.
The movie was just OK. I found it to be a bit glossy. For someone with a seedy past, everything had a sort of sanitized sheen to it. For example, much of it focused on Cash's addiction to "pills." But they never mention exactly what the drugs were. There were many scenes of him ingesting pills, but what were they? Uppers? Downers? Goofballs? Or were they just plain, generic Movie Pills? Also, there was a noticeable lack of swearing and nudity. Not that I necessarily think these elements are a must in a film about a performer's rise and fall. I just think the movie could have been a little grittier.
The other thing that bothered me was the casting. Try as I might, I just didn't buy the leads in their parts. They both delivered great performances, but they just didn't seem like they were Johnny and June. For me, it would have played better if it was a thinly-veiled work of fiction.
What did I like about it? Well, again, the performances were great, both acting and musical. I really liked Reese Witherspoon's singing. That was a pleasant surprise.
My favorite scene was during Johnny's audition for Sam Phillips. I don't know who the actor playing Phillips was, but he certainly made the most of it. The dialogue was sharply written, and you could sense Johnny soaking up Phillips' list of what he was doing wrong and how to make it better.
So I guess I liked it. It's one of those movies that will appear on TV in a couple years and I'll look forward to seeing it.