June Carter Cash deserves better than Lifetime’s ‘Ring of Fire’


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May 27, 9 p.m., Lifetime

It says something about the prestige afforded to male entertainers over their female counterparts that Johnny Cash got a high-profile, Oscar-winning theatrical biopic (2005’s Walk the Line), while June Carter Cash has been relegated to a Lifetime made-for-TV movie named after a song her husband made famous (Ring of Fire). Granted, Johnny was more well-known than June, but it’s disappointing to see her reduced to this chintzy production, which barrels through her life in a series of stilted expository scenes.

Singer-songwriter Jewel gets in a few affecting moments as June, but Matt Ross is out of his depth as Johnny, and the anemic writing serves neither of them. Even with June as its ostensible main character, the movie still focuses on Johnny’s drug problems at the expense of material about June’s family or her own music. She deserves better than to be a supporting player in her own story.


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