When Joaquin Phoenix says those words while on stage in the movie, Walk The Line, you don’t doubt it. His performance is remarkable. It’s a movie about how Johnny Cash got into music, his influences (personal and musically), and how he ended up marrying June Carter. I was disappointed when the movie ended at that point; I wanted to see what he went through with the next 35 years with June, but maybe those years weren’t as interesting as those shown in the movie; or maybe there will be a sequel; it’s one sequel I’d look forward to.
I was never a big fan of Johnny Cash. I like some of his tunes, but this movie opened my eyes; here’s a song-writer and musician who knew what his calling was and dead-set trying to do it. When he plays Folsom Prison Blues in front of Sam Phillips in his audition, you’ll get a lump in your throat. I want to listen to all his work now, and I’ll be listening with a new respect.
I will admit to not having been excited about seeing Walk the Line before sitting down to watch it, but Mangold, Phoenix, and Witherspoon converted me. During the course of the picture, someone describes Johnny’s voice as being “steady like a train, sharp like a razor.” That sounds to me like a fitting description of Walk the Line, as well.