Only catching up on this review now so apologies for the delay. Firstly I’ll say that I’m not crazy about Johnny Cash’s music. I would have heard a couple of his songs before but that would have been it. The film tracks the first half of Cash’s life and Jaoquin Phoenix turns in a masterful display of character nuance. He really nails the part and paints a picture of a guy who could swing from cruel to caring in a heartbeat. The fact that the director insisted on his actors singing each and every tune contributes to the film enormously. I can’t have imagined getting into the film as much if they had been lip-syncing.
Reese Witherspoon as June Carter is also superb and the chemistry between the two leads is palpable. She exudes confidence and seems to be the one person who would stand up to Cash. Her performance hints at a stolen childhood and broken marriages that all take place off screen. When all is considered though the structure of the film is elevated by the actors and turns an average bio-pic into a very good one.
Tony’s Verdict: 8/10