Friday, September 2, 2011
My Favorite Movies: Walk The Line
Walk The Line, the biopic about Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, deserved every Oscar it won. Although it has upsetting and disturbing elements (as real life often does), it's a fantastic story of redemption that happens to include some great music. A lot of it was filmed here in Memphis, too!
I knew almost nothing about the Cashes before I saw this, but Joaquin Phoenix really conveys Johnny's deep pain, awkwardness, and passion. It must have been a very difficult role. I consider this movie to be Reese Witherspoon's best work, which is saying a lot since she's so talented. Who knew she could sing? :)
Last year I started to see June (at least as portrayed by Reese) as a role model of sorts - another woman of faith who was divorced and kind of ashamed of it, but who eventually found an epic, redeeming love that would inspire songs, books, and movies! I needed to know more about her and Johnny, so I read John Carter Cash's memoir of his parents. It was disillusioning. Johnny had big problems that didn't just go away, even with June there to support him. Although I still find her very admirable, she was honestly kind of an enabler. He had affairs after they were married, though he continued to love her passionately. I thought, if a man can love a woman that much and still cheat, what hope is there for the rest of us? But it's always more complicated than that. Even the most epic love won't stand without self-control. Among other things.
Anyway, regardless of the real-life details, Walk the Line is inspiring and enjoyable. This is my favorite song (and one of my favorite scenes in general) from the movie: