I don’t think I could have named a single Johnny Cash song before I watched Walk The Line – and I’m not sure I could name any now apart from the track that gives this film its name.
But the great news is that you don’t have to be a fan of the Man in Black to appreciate what is essentially a good old love story between Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) and fellow performer June Carter (Reese Witherspoon).
Even to those of us who knew nothing about the singer beforehand, the story is one we’ve heard before – the bullying alcoholic father, the unhappy first marriage, the early success, the drugs and booze and finally (through June) the redemption.
However, the performances of the two leads (who also sang the tracks themselves) make this a cut above the usual biopic. Witherspoon deservedly won an Oscar; the wonder is that Phoenix didn’t.
I’m not a country fan, but I even found myself enjoying the music – so I can only imagine that genuine Johnny Cash fans must love this film.