Seems like we have at least one bio-pic every year that stands out. Ray was last years, and this year we have Capote (which I have yet to see), and Walk the Line, which I just saw. This latter film is based on the life of singer Johnny Cash, and holy crap, it was really good.
Joaquin Phoenix plays Cash, and we follow him as he gets his start singing in Memphis, all the way through his rocky relationship with his first wife, affair with June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon), drug abuse, and ultimate recovery. It’s a fascinating look at a singer who I admittedly knew very little about, aside from a handful of songs.
The performances are quite good, with Phonix and Witherspoon definitely worth noting. Even better is the music – they all performed the songs themselves, and you would be hard pressed to notice a difference from the originals. Thanks in no small part to the talents of composer/music supervisor T Bone Burnett, the songs are all recreated in exacting detail, and are used to progress the storyline instead of bring the film to a screeching halt.
The film was engaging, fun, and fascinating. The performances (both acting and musical) stand out, and if you can, I’d strongly suggest you make some time to catch Walk the Line.