In the last ten days we’ve seen a couple of nice movies – nice in totally different ways. I recognize that I’m way behind the times here, but we tend to be renters more than theater-goers, so I offer this brief review to those like us.
Walk the Line is, of course, the Johnny Cash biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as the country music legend and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash, a role which, as you know, netter her an Oscar. She deserved it in my estimation and, frankly, I think Phoenix was also deserving. He had such a commanding presence in bringing Cash to life, not to mention an amazing job on the vocals to several popular Cash hits. The movie is well cast and well played. And, of course, the soundtrack is terrific.
It is sometimes difficult to watch the protracted self-destruction of Johnny Cash, but the grittier scenes are a necessary part of telling the tale. Cash was a man who apparently had it all but lived without joy and contentment, falling prey to the lure of a fast life of drugs and women. The movie is, at its heart, a remarkable story of redemption. In reality, of course, Cash had a conversion experience, turning to Jesus Christ and forsaking his sins. The film hints at this in showing Cash and Carter walking into a church service at the story’s turning point.
The ending may seem rather abrupt or weird to some. But I think it is perfect. The final scene of the film (I won’t ruin it) wonderfully captures the transformation wrought in Cash, who is finally content and at peace. If you haven’t seen this yet, you really ought to watch it.