Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Walk the Line (2005)

It's biopics like this that make the minor triumph of Capote seem all that more notable. This thing is pretty standard for the genre, with some good scenes (the Folsom County concert is a highlight) and lots of bad ones (any scene involving Robert Patrick should be slept through). The narrative lurches forward with little sense of time or pacing, James Mangold's direction is impersonal on the level of a television movie and Joaquin Phoenix is merely acceptable in the lead. (He's good enough to suggest the leader in a Johnny Cash cover band, but he's nowhere near the man himself.) The only reason to watch this is to catch Reese Witherspoon's steely performance as June Carter Cash; from her first scene, she strides in and lights this motherfucker up like a high school bonfire party. She's great and deserves the Oscar she's going to win, but generally, you're better off buying a couple Cash CDs. (Also, the arc of this film is so close to the similarly-mediocre Ray that you wonder why they just didn't wait a couple of years before making this.)

Grade: C


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