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Walk the Line


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That second photo, of Witherspoon and Phoenix sharing the mic, looks uncanny.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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noooooooooooooooooo...

*shakes head*

is nothing sacred anymore?

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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Some of those pictures are downright uncanny. In others, Mr. Phoenix is way too pretty.

Looks like Witherspoon was a good choice for June Carter though.

It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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FWIW, we had a few posts on this in the Vanity Fair thread.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Yikes. BoxOfficeMojo.com is reporting that the film's release date has been pushed back from April to NOVEMBER of next year. Like, almost a full year away.

I'm not sure if that's a good sign or a bad sign.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 months later...

from Rolling Stone:

While Foxx lip-synced to vocals performed by Charles, Phoenix does his own singing in the film -- and learned to play guitar from scratch. Witherspoon and the rest of the cast -- including the relative unknowns who play Cash's buddies Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis -- did the same. To prepare the actors, music director T Bone Burnett led them through a three-month singing-and-playing boot camp.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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This will be interesting to see and hear I just have a feeling it will have a made for TV or HBO feel.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Wow, looks like the musician-biopics just keep coming! jazzband.gif First De-lovely, Ray, and Beyond the Sea, now this. I have to say, Joaquin Phoenix seems right for the part, to me (though I think Cliff Robertson would make a good elderly Johnny Cash).

I bet this one was moved to Oscar season because of the popularity that Ray received...Though Beyond the Sea didn't do quite so well.

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...
David Poland RAVES that it may be "a best picture lock" and "a joy." He gushes about Joaquin Phoenix's performance and singing, and says Reese Witherspoon could have a career in country music tomorrow if she wanted to.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Just saw the trailer for this film, and it looked...well, awful. I'm with BDR in saying Phoenix looks way too pretty. And, while I can appreciate the work that might have been put into the singing, Phoenix is not, was not, nor ever will be anything but the dimmest wavering shadow of Cash's vocal talent. Given that Cash's voice had such an iconic sound, I can't see why the filmmakers didn't just have him lipsynch. I mean, I respect and laud T-Bone to the highest, but he is still just human.

Like Gigi, I shake my head. unsure.gif

Jesus is not a zombie...I shouldn't have to tell you that.

--Agent Booth, Bones

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And, while I can appreciate the work that might have been put into the singing, Phoenix is not, was not, nor ever will be anything but the dimmest wavering shadow of Cash's vocal talent.

That may be true, but, really... how important should it be to us that an actor playing a historical figure look like and sound like that character? I thought Nixon was a memorable film, even though Hopkins looked and sounded nothing like the real man. That Jamie Foxx did a dead-on impression of Ray Charles was a nice bonus, but it didn't make me feel like I'd really encountered the man and understood him by the end of the film... that was due to failures in artistry of another sort.

I'm encouraged by what I've seen, and I've read that Phoenix is doing his own singing, and frankly, even if he doesn't sound just like Johnny Cash, I'd be more interested in seeing him PLAY THE PART rather than lip-synch, which I would find distracting.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I'm encouraged by what I've seen, and I've read that Phoenix is doing his own singing, and frankly, even if he doesn't sound just like Johnny Cash, I'd be more interested in seeing him PLAY THE PART rather than lip-synch, which I would find distracting.

I also thought the trailer looked promising. One question, though: was that Joaquin Phoenix singing in the trailer, or was it a recording of Johnny Cash? If it was Phoenix, he does a damned good imitation!

Edited by Mister Jeff

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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David Poland RAVES that it may be "a best picture lock" and "a joy." He gushes about Joaquin Phoenix's performance and singing, and says Reese Witherspoon could have a career in country music tomorrow if she wanted to.

The gang at GreenCine Daily isn't so enthused:

Think of Ray, then think of a country music equivalent which must have made the rounds of yard sales all over Nashville. Yet it's the script and its cookbook psychology that fall short here. Cash's older idealized brother dies after a sawmill accident, his father scorns him, and he craves the approval he never gets. Get the picture? There you have it, except for a spirited performance by Reese Witherspoon as June Carter - a funny and tender pro on the stage. Here's a chance to see her at her best. It's hard to know if there's a new generation of Johnny Cash fans out there, but we have to assume that they would expect more from this biopic. For those who didn't know Cash all that well, Witherspoon may save the show.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 1 month later...

Holy Ghost in the Cash story

Hilburn -- who actually attended the legendary Cash concert in Folsom Prison -- knows that he is dealing with material that is soaked in faith, sin, grace and redemption. At least, I think he does. But he ended up writing a story that talks about how Phoenix looked into the soul of the country-rock-folk-gospel legend, but never gets around to tellins us much about what he saw in there. He says that Phoenix was having trouble shaking loose from some parts of Cash's story and personality, now that the movie is done. OK, that's interesting. Like what? There is even hint that the actor's own background may have a religion ghost or two in it. . . .

Terry Mattingly, GetReligion.org, October 24

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Seen it. Yeah, definite Ray parallels. Meanwhile, I'm wondering if anybody else here remembers reading this comic back in the 1970s?

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

Note how the comic begins with prisoners awaiting a Cash performance in Folsom, and then jumps straight back to Cash's childhood (or so I assume; page 2 is missing here) -- just like the movie! But note how the comic makes the Folsom performance look uplifting, whereas the movie celebrates Cash's four-letter-word-using rebel persona. And note the comic's reference to Cash's "security" as a child -- quite different from the film's major emphasis on Cash's inability to earn the respect of his alcoholic, judgmental, anti-radio-listening father.

Interesting to see how interpretations of a person's life can vary -- especially when they are both produced with the seeming approval of the person in question (admittedly 30 years apart).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Wow. Serious flashback to my childhood. The only comic books I had were those I could find at the Christian bookstore, and that was one of them. I haven't seen those pictures in twenty years. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Peter.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Saw it last night.

Yes, Ray parallels, though FWIW (and it's definitely worth something) Walk the Line brings a moral rigor to the destructive effects of its subject's philandering that Ray didn't, and maybe even is more uncompromising in showing the destructive nature of his drug abuse as well.

Peter, thanks for sharing the parallels -- and divergences -- to the comic book. I think it's interesting that the film shows Cash and June Carter headed into

a church

, but omits what happens there, presumably

Cash's response to an altar call

.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I just saw an ad for Walk The Line during Sportscentre, and it seemed to actually put the "faith" element of the film front and centre, along with his relationship with June. I was somewhat surprised (pleasantly) that they aren't shying away from this. I'm looking forward to the film.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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The bigger Ray parallel, I think -- or at least the one most prominent in my mind -- is the glimpse of Cash's childhood in poverty, and the accidental death of his brother. (And at the junket this morning, Joaquin Phoenix was so reluctant to speak at first -- it took some persuading, he asked the first questioner why we didn't just get our quotes from the other interviews he's done, etc. -- that another reporter and I said to each other afterwards that there was NO WAY we were going to raise the fact that Joaquin himself lost a brother... For that matter, we never got around to asking about Joaquin's religious background either, cuz that could very well have been a touchy subject, too.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Cash's Daughter Upset With Mom's Portrayal

Kathy Cash, one of Johnny Cash's five children, was so upset about how her mother is portrayed in the upcoming movie "Walk the Line" that she walked out of a family-only screening five times.

She thinks the movie, which opens nationwide Nov. 18, is good and that performances by Joaquin Phoenix as her dad and Reese Witherspoon as her stepmother, June Carter Cash, are Oscar-worthy.

But she also said the film unfairly shows her mother, Vivian Liberto Distin, Johnny Cash's first wife, as a shrew. Actress Ginnifer Goodwin plays her in the movie.

"My mom was basically a nonentity in the entire film except for the mad little psycho who hated his career. That's not true. She loved his career and was proud of him until he started taking drugs and stopped coming home," Kathy Cash said. . . .

Vivian Liberto Distin died earlier this year as a result of complications from lung cancer. She and Cash were married 13 years and had four children together. He pledged to remain faithful to her in his song "I Walk the Line." . . .

John Carter Cash Johnny and June's only child together and an executive producer for "Walk the Line" says his half-sister's criticisms have merit. But he says it's OK to take some license and that, in the bigger picture, the movie succeeds in telling his parents' love story.

"I'm compassionately understanding," he said, adding, "the point of the film is my parents' love affair."

Associated Press, November 10

- - -

I'm not quite sure how to respond to this, since I find it well nigh impossible to dislike Ginnifer Goodwin in anything. But I think it's fair to say that Cash's first wife is portrayed as The Woman Who Doesn't Understand Why An Artist Won't Take A Regular Job, and is thus portrayed as something less than the Soul Mate that June Carter became -- and thus, in a way, the film might encourage us to think that Cash needed to leave his first wife in order to be with June because, well, "Have they no right to happiness?" (To paraphrase a famous C.S. Lewis essay on "sexual morality".)

Oh, and Kathy's account agrees more-or-less with the account in Cash's comic book, as I recall it.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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