I spontaneously called a friend last night and said “let’s go see Walk the Line.” That’s the new Johnny Cash movie now in theatres in case you hadn’t heard. We’re both Cash fans and we tried to keep our anticipation bated–expectations low. I mean how good could Jaucquine Pheonix and Reese Witherspoon be? By the end I can honestly say I haven’t cried that much during a movie since I can remember. It had so many human glory moments that I just didn’t want the movie to end. I’ve read Cash’s books and the movie just made them that much more real. Its one thing to read the account of the death of a close brother, its another to experience it on the big screen. Its certainly much harder to watch Cash kill a marriage and trash himself than to read about it, and yet more exhilerating. I loved it. Go see it. If you ain’t read Cash the Autobiography or The Man Called Cash by Steve Turner yet you’ll want to before or after seeing the movie.
Playing the national icon Johnny Cash would have to be the most daunting job for an actor, short of playing Jesus Christ. Nobody can do it. But Pheonix successfully lets us forget about him and think about Cash. He’ll make you a believer. After the Fulsom prison seen I had to go back and hear the real thing again. If you haven’t heard the 1999 extended version its worth buying. And then of course you gotta move on to San Quentin. . . .