As has generally been proclaimed, the lead performances were amazing. Reese Witherspoon was truly awesome as June Carter. She's definitely become the actress that Alicia Silverstone would be if she hadn't eaten herself out of Hollywood. (If you've never seen "Election", go put it on your Netflix queueu. Great, disturbing movie and she is awesome!) Joaquin Phoenix was slightly less great, but still amazing. I also liked Dallas Roberts as Sam Philips and the small part actors who played Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison.
There were some great, exhilirating moments in the concert scenes, especially the Folsom Prison concert, the Johnny/June in Vegas show and the early rock n roll tour stuff.
Here's the bad news: Cliches out the wazoo. Even if it really happened that way, there's got to be a new, better, different way to do, 1. Screaming, ponytailed 50's rock and rollers, 2. The audition that starts out terrible and gets great, 3. The ominous beginnings of drug addiction, 4. The freaking out looking for the pills scene (twice even), 5. Groupies.
This movie could easily have lost 20-30 minutes to great effect as well as Robert Patrick. The evil father thing just wasn't working for me. Plus the first wife as evil harpy to make June look saintlier was way overdone.
I'm definitely betting on Reese for the Oscar, not so sure about Joaquin.
Karaokegal says: Wait for the DVD (unless you have to see it before the Oscars.)