Cinecity Top 10 Film Poll – 2005 – Walk The Line
Title: WALK THE LINE
Walk the Line is still worth a watch to see both Phoenix and Mangold at their very best, and Phoenix’s turn here is why he is recognised as such a strong actor.
With the festival looming, CINECITY has announced it build up campaign, and what kind of movie fan Brightonian would I be if I didn’t get involved. But what is it all about? Read on…
CineCity 2012, Brighton Film Festival is approaching, and from 15th November to 2nd December the City will be taken over by films fans attending events in 10 venues including the ever brilliant Duke of York’s Picturehouse. This yearn is a special one as it is the 10th edition. To help with the build up, the boffins behind the festival have asked us fans to come up with our TOP 10 FILMS OF THE LAST 10 YEARS. I have decided to run a series of 10 posts with a feature on my favorite film from the chosen year.
The top films will be compiled and the results will be announced during the festival, but do not panic I will report back here to announce the winners to those of your overseas.
But remember to see your fave, get involved!!
2005 wasn’t a particularly stand out year for film – there were a few bona fide classics though with Sin City, A History of Violence, The Proposition and No Direction Home standing out. However, the film that stood above all of the others in 2005 was James Mangold’s biopic, Walk the Line.
Walk the Line is about the life of the country musician Johnny Cash, with a lot of the material being lifted from his autobiography: Cash: The Autobiography. Naturally, it’s the first half of the book where we see Cash come of age and get himself in a lot of trouble.
Walk the Line is told almost completely in flashback form, the film opens to the Folsom State Prison inmates raucously awaiting Cash’s performance. Cash thumbs a circular saw and suddenly were with Cash as a child in Arkansas. We witness Cash watching his brother Jack die after an accident with a table saw – following this time skips forward and shows us Cash as grows up and becomes the incredible singer and songwriter that he is remembered for. The film dovetails nicely at the end when we return to Folsom State Prison and see Cash in his now legendary performance.
There was some criticism levelled at Walk the Line upon release due to how conventional its form was. This is a little unfair, as its very classic style coupled with the cinematography is somewhat reminiscent of the kind of films that would have been released at the time the film is set. This technique is also used in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film, The Outsider with great success. Much like The Outsiders, Mangold uses a lot of yellow to give the film a nostalgic, sunny look. Mangold also uses shaky, hand-held camera at a slightly squint angle when Cash is strung out on drugs which almost gives the viewer the queasy feeling!
Joaquin Phoenix plays the man in black with great conviction. It was Walk the Line that really made Phoenix the star that he is today. He proved himself as a real character actor, like a young De Niro. I still can’t watch the parts when Phoenix is playing Cash at his best: onstage, without getting the shivers. However, there are great turns by most of the cast in Walk the Line, particularly Reese Witherspoon, who won an Oscar for her performance as June Carter and also Robert Patrick has a terrifying turn as Cash’s father, Ray.
Whilst the film tends to show more of Cash’s darker days than anything else – predominantly the divorce and the addiction – at its heart is the love story between Cash and Carter. There is real chemistry between Phoenix and Witherspoon, which makes the film a lot more believable.
James Mangold has yet to better his work in Walk the Line, but Joaquin Phoenix has continued to excel, with his appearance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master said to be amongst his very best work. Walk the Line is still worth a watch to see both Phoenix and Mangold at their very best, and Phoenix’s turn here is why he is recognised as such a strong actor.
Our previous instalment can be found here -
CINECITY BRIGHTON FILM FESTIVAL WILL RUN FROM 15TH NOVEMBER TO 2ND DECEMBER 2012 FOR MORE INFO VISIT THE HOMEPAGE HERE