Based on two autobiographies, this exceptional biopic follows Johnny Cash’s early life, through his marriage to Vivian Liberto, romance with June Carter, ascent to the country music scene, early recordings at Sun Studios and performances alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and beyond.
The film is set against a backdrop of Cash’s troubled life, plagued by his often catastrophic drug and alcohol abuse. There’s a visceral chemistry between actors Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, with both delivering outstanding performances, and some scenes unscripted. Witherspoon’s performance in particular won extensive praise.
All songs are performed by the actors, with both learning to play their respective instruments and taking vocal training, in preparation for the roles.