The movie's all about Johnny and June, and larger political and social things going on hardly make a dent. However, there were other people in supporting roles that did well. As a performance, I was especially thrilled with the country scion Waylon Payne as Jerry Lee Lewis. He makes a particularly strong impression with his stage performance of the "Lewis Boogie."
June's lineage was well represented by her parents in fairly thankless supporting roles. I was particularly tickled with a scene as the clan is adopting Johnny, where father Ezra and Mother Maybelle come out wielding shotguns to run off Johnny's dope dealer. It's also good that they resisted the obvious temptation to ham that up like they could have.
Even Johnny's difficult father Ray Cash came out pretty well. I knew the actor, but he became the character so effectively that it was only seeing Robert Patrick's name in the credits that I realized that it was ol' T-1000. Also, the part was well written so that Patrick had something to work with in showing some of why he was so difficult. Just when I'm thinking how much I'd like to slap him, he comes across at the Thanksgiving table- in front of the Carters- with an understated but perfect defense. Well yeah, I could see that.
In short, this movie came out from good to excellent on about every count. It's got pretty much strong music, a good fleshing out of these very public characters, good framing, and outstanding performances even from some of the minor players. I'll be surprised if Witherspoon and Phoenix don't both get nominated for Oscars.