Walk The Line
Go Johnny Go

Of course I knew who Johnny Cash was prior to seeing this movie. But I could not recall and/or sing one of his songs. He was in my "collective music(al) memory". Begging to be discovered. Director James Mangold provided the perfect greetingcard to Johnny Cash with Walk The Line.

The cast is just amazing. Joaquin Phoenix is Johnny Cash. I saw extracts from his famed prisongigs and Joaquin has studied him very closely. Every nod, every accent, every twitch of the mouth. It feels like you're looking at a genuine Cash.

I knew Reese Witherspoon from "just funny"-movies la "Legally Blonde" and "teeny crappy"-movies la "Cruel Intentions". But what she does here is a major tour de force. What a fantastic performance. Also Robert Patrick, always a B-movie actor for me, truly shines as Johnny's father. Thumbs up for the whole cast!

The music is, not surprisingly, fantastic and hey, "Ring Of Fire" is a familiar song to me. I just didn't know it was a Johnny Cash-song. And Joaquin and Reese did all the singing themselves. Bravo! I have to buy that soundtrack for sure.

This movie is a classact all the way. Production, direction, cast, music ... it's all there and it could not have been better. This is the second movie I saw on the silver screen in 2006. It's a whole different league than Narnia, so I can't compare. But Walk The Line is a must. Here's hoping for some Academy Awards.

Now I want to get to know Johnny Cash's music. That may be the movie's biggest accomplishment.

Julian De Backer, 30 January 2006