Judy and I went to Walk the Line this afternoon. I knew pretty much what to expect, having seen other celeb bios in my time (Ray, most recently), and knowing that all these people seem to be leading each other's lives. Or maybe they're all living the same life.
Anyway, the story's very familiar: the hard early life, the disapproving father, the eventual success, the pills and the booze, the love story, the fall, the recovery, and all the rest. That being said, the movie's still entertaining, if too long. Joaquin Phoenix does a good job of capturing some of the dark menace of Johnny Cash, and Resse Witherspoon is spunky, funny, and cute as June Carter. Her performance doesn't really seem all that different from some of her other work to me, and I'm not sure why there's been so much Oscar talk. Maybe I just missed something. Both she and Phoenix do a creditable job of singing, though in the case of the Johnny Cash songs I miss the resonance and power of the real thing.
I saw Johnny Cash in person once, long ago, and it was a hugely disappointing event. It was in either 1959 or 1960, and I (along with most of the audience) thought he was drunk. I'm sure now that pills were the more likely cause of his behavior, but the audience wasn't appreciative of the performance, such as it was. We'd come to hear him sing, and he could barely handle the job. The thing I remember most is that in response to a few catcalls, he belched into the microphone. It was all pretty sad, and I regretted then (and still do) that a great performer had let himself get on stage in that condition. I'd have loved to see him when he was clean and straight.