“Would you sing something different?”

The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” was on Ovation tonight, and the scene below just knocks it out of the park.

Struggling songwriter and door-to-door salesman J.R. Cash (the incredibly good Joaquin Phoenix — why didn’t he get the Oscar for this?) gets a chance to audition for legendary record producer Sam Phillips, who is less-than-impressed with what he hears.  But watch what happens. Writer-director James Mangold nails it. It’s a great moment in the movies—and, in a way, a cinematic homily. “Would you sing something different?” could be the defining question of our lives. Here, it is the start of one of the greatest musical odysseys of the 20th century.

Footnote: Cash’s Wikipedia entry says of his first marriage:

On July 18, 1951, while in Air Force training, Cash met 17-year-old Vivian Liberto at a roller skating rink in her native San Antonio. They dated for three weeks, until Cash was deployed to Germany for a three-year tour. During that time, the couple exchanged hundreds of pages of love letters.[30] On August 7, 1954, one month after his discharge, they were married at St. Anne’s Catholic church in San Antonio. The ceremony was performed by her uncle, Father Vincent Liberto.

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