Back in 2005, Johnny Cash’s emotional subtleties were captured with freshness through the movie, “Walk the Line.” The movie specifically focuses on his love story with June Carter. Joaquin Phoenix plays the role of the Man in Black, while Reese Witherspoon acts as the spirited entertainer he performed with and swooned over for ten years before she finally agreed to marry him.
The movie was directed and co-scripted by James Mangold, who also directed the movies Girl Interrupted and Identity. Together with Gill Dennis, they formatted the movie script form Cash’s books, Man in Black and Cash: The Autobiography.
The movie follows the early years in the career of Cash, particularly his life’s journey battered by his brother’s accidental death, and a father who blames him for the incident. He grew up with the scars in his heart that cannot just fade away. He joined the Air Force and married Vivian, played by Ginnifer Goodwin. Vivian discouraged Cash’s singing and suggested he should find a better job that would support the family.
Cash insisted to pursue his passion. He performed for different events until that epic day where he met the woman that caused his romantic turbulence. It was during the audition for Sam Philips at Sun Records that lights started to fire under John’s career. And that was the time he crossed path with June, who was also performing for the show. Though both of them were married, they could not resist the attraction that burns both of them. Out of their romantic tension, the movie emerges.
The movie generally received positive feedback from critics and viewers. Garnering an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the performance of the two lead stars gained appreciations. According to Michael Sragow, a Baltimore Sun reviewer, Phoenix and Witherspoon acted with “every bone and inch of flesh and facial plane.” Hence, they accomplished a transcendent performance for the movie. Credits also go to director Mangold, who is known for his bleak melodrama found in taciturn souls.
Movie Accolades and Box Office Performance
According to records, the film grossed a total of $186.4 million after its official release on November 18, 2005. It held the title of all-time highest-grossing music biopic until Straight Outta Compton surpassed it in 2015. Its promising box-office performance, production, and casting earned 5 Oscar Awards nomination.
Witherspoon acting as June Carter specifically earned the most recognition. Aside from bringing home the Academy Awards for Best Actress, he also received seven other best actress awards from different entertainment associations. Moreover, film critic Andrew Sarris ranked Walk the Line number seven in top films of 2005.
Here’s the trailer for the 2005 epic movie that rocked country.
Johnny Cash & The Carter Family, June Carter, walk the line