I should be writing about the attack on Pearl Harbor tonight, shouldn't I? Being the big WWII history buff that I am, right? But I'm not gonna. I'm gonna write about Walk the Line, Joaquin Phoenix, and Johnny Cash. Because I just went to see the movie tonight, and it was even better than I'd hoped. Honestly, it was as if Joaquin Phoenix wasn't playing Johnny Cash, but he was Johnny Cash. Now, I'm not what you'd call a huge Johnny Cash fan--I mean, I don't know him and his music like I do Bobby Darin's, so I couldn't judge the acting and singing in this the way I could for the BD biopic Beyond the Sea, but to me it seemed like Joaquin really got inside who Johnny Cash was and the demons that drove him.
My first memories of Johnny Cash come from my teen years. Mom, Johnnycake, and I would watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman every Saturday night, and Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash did one or two guest appearances over the years on the show--I remember a Thanksgiving episode with them in it, for sure. My other memory is of this tape of Western songs my Dad has. It's got two Johnny Cash songs on it, "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" and "Wanted Man."
Then Johnny Cash dropped out of my life for about five years. He dropped back in when Cowboy and I got addicted to his version of "Hurt" the first year we were married. And now...well...I've got "Walk the Line" stuck in my head, if that's any indication to you...
As for Joaquin Phoenix, well, I've pretty much been drooling at his feet since I saw Signs and he was all broad-shouldered and broody. In this one, he's about the sexiest I've seen him, particularly since I'm enthralled with his eyes and he does a lot with them here...and who knew he had a voice that amazing? I'm going to buy the soundtrack. His lower register in particular just makes my toes tingle.