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The Reese Witherspoon Bio

The Reese Witherspoon Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:


Reese plays the stubborn, determined sister who starts the whole color thing that becomes the new Pleasantville, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance. Her juxtaposition to the brilliant and sedate Tobey Maguire is fascinating.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Walk the Line (Oscar-winning performance as singer and Johnny's wife) June Carter Cash
Election (Golden Globe nominated performance as a high-school student all-too-determined to win class president)
Legally Blonde (Golden Globe-nominated performance as Elle Woods, a surprising Harvard Law student)
Man in the Moon (a little sister in love with the same boy next door as her older sister)
Sweet Home Alabama (a successful New Yorker returning to Alabama to get a divorce)
Just Like Heaven (a "spirit" fighting over her place with the new leasee)
Vanity Fair (Becky Sharp, the ultimate social climber)
Cruel Intentions (a virginal student and the object of a bet)
The Bulldog Reese:
Vanity Fair
Sweet Home Alabama
Just Like Heaven
Legally Blonde 2
The Real Reese Witherspoon:
Sweet Home Alabama

Though she is no doubt exceedingly more diplomatic and seemingly a whole lot less snobbish than the New York socialite Melanie Smooter, there is a sense that Reese knows that she is a lucky Southern girl – and that she will never be too far from her roots.
Acting Style:
To point out the remarkable similarity of many of Reese's roles is to do her somewhat of a disservice. She seems talented enough to do anything, and actually her most famous role, Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde," is only vaguely similar to the tough, determined impish bulldogs she usually plays. Also, her Oscar is for a dramatic turn as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line."

But, it's like that high forehead had hair before she started butting heads with everyone. Like Tracey Flick in "Election," Witherspoon is at her most enjoyable and most detestable – basically, her best – when she is on a tear, letting nothing and nobody stop her. Maybe it's because it contrasts so with her perky, tomboy next door, best gal pal demeanor, that we enjoy it so much.

As for "Legally Blonde," part of its success was actually due to a more dimensionalized, friendlier version of the determined Reese. Though she actually does go after "success" with the same abandon, it is with charm rather than teeth and claws. Also, part of the fun is that it is clear to most everyone in the audience (except, possibly, to guys like her boyfriend, who have been dragged to the movie by their dates) that this is one heck of a smart chick.
Bits and Quirks:
When she closes that little mouth in a determined grit or pout, it practically disappears. It's usually accompanied by the crossing of the arms. One of the best puppy dog looks in the business, especially when it changes without notice to the fiercely determined or angry (or both) look. Marching with her head down and her arms stiffly to her side.
Great Scenes:
The Man in the Moon

> Brilliant and subtle dramatic acting in touching moments with her sister
> Her first kiss with the boy next door

Walk the Line

> Performing onstage in duets with Joaquin Phoenix (singing the parts herself)
> When Johnny proposes to June

Legally Blonde

> Her video to get into Harvard Law
> Pretending to be heartsick over the geek to get other girls to like him
> Winning her first case through her knowledge of cosmetics


> Tearing down the posters
> Going mano a mano with Matthew Broderick over the posters
> Jumping around when she thinks she's won the election

Just Like Heaven

> The scenes with Jon Heder as a really good psychic
> Finding out she had no social life
> Seeing her comatose body

Legally Blonde 2

> Elle's speech before both houses of Congress