The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Monday, November 28, 2005

Old Zach at the Movies

I had the opportunity over Thanksgiving to see several very good movies. Though I enjoyed them all, including the newest installment in the Harry Potter series, the best of the bunch was without a doubt the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line.

Simply put, this movie was outstanding. Because of the subject matter and content, the movie has invited many comparisons to last years Ray. Even though I thought Ray was superb, I liked Walk the Line better for a couple of reasons. First of all, though I've long been a fan of Johnny Cash's music, I was fascinated to find out many things about his life that I had not previously known. My fondness for the music also kept me entertained during the slower parts of the movie.

Further, I thought the supporting cast was much better in Walk the Line than in Ray. While Jamie Foxx's Oscar-winning performance carried Ray, Walk the Line featured many solid performances. Anyone who had seen Gladiator knew that Joaquin Phoenix was a great actor. However, I was extremely impressed with the performance of Reese Witherspoon as June Carter. Reese is authentically believable as the country music legend, and she makes you understand why Johnny Cash is so hoplessly in love with her. Reese effectively sheds her image as a Hollywood "lightweight" as she more than holds her own with a very talented group of actors. I certainly expect both Witherspoon and Phoenix to garner Academy Award nominations for their performances.

Director James Mangold does a fantastic job of exposing to the audience not just the raw struggles of Cash himself, but also the fantastic surroundings in which they occur. This includes the presence of characters like Elvis Presley, Waylon Jennings, and the Carter Family. For example, my favorite scene is a brief sequence in which Ezra and Maybelle Carter, with shotguns in hand, chase Johnny's drug dealer off his property. This scene also typifies the underlying rift that was developing at that time between country music's traditional "family" and the new group of "outlaws."

I encourage everyone, even folks who aren't fans of country music, to see this movie. At this point I'd probably say that it is the best movie I've seen in 2005.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Chad said...

I cannot wait to see that film. I'm glad to hear the good review.

10:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:02 AM

 

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