Walk the Line avoids some of the common biography movie traps. The first half flows fairly naturally, without excessive jumps between events. The second half, dealing with Johnny Cash’s drug addiction is less successful, delving into the same tired musical story, but is decent. Joaquin Phoenix, while not resembling Cash, plays him convincingly. But even with the stellar performances by Phoenix and Whitterspoon, combined with the decent writing, the film does miss the bigger picture. For instance, one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs is “Man in Black”, but Walk the Line never delves into why Cash would write something like that. It never go beyond a reason of being a “Good Christian”. What compelled Cash to play Folsom Prison? The film portrays it like three fan letters from prisoners gave him the idea.
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