Thursday, June 20, 2024

Reese Witherspoon Movies: A Look Back at the Actress’s Most Memorable Roles

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Reese Witherspoon is an Academy Award-winning actress and megastar whose resume is packed with performances ranging from comic to dramatic. She has been one of Hollywood’s biggest stars since her breakout role in the hit movie Legally Blonde (2001). From headlining classic comedies to Emmy-winning turns in limited series, let’s look back at some of Reese Witherspoon’s most memorable roles.

Early Career  

Reese Witherspoon began her acting career as a teenager in the early 1990s. Some of her earliest roles were in movies like Jack the Bear (1993) and The Man in the Moon (1991), as well as TV shows like Wildflower (1991) and Looking for Freinds (1994). Her breakout role came in the film, Freeway (1996) where she starred as a young runaway, Vanessa Lutz. From then on her career took off, and she starred in some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including:

Cruel Intentions (1999)

Reese Witherspoon starred opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe in the cult classic, Cruel Intentions (1999). Her performance as Annette Hargrove, a naive private school student, was hailed as her breakout role. Her character was innocent, but also confident and determined, which resonated with audiences.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Legally Blonde was a massive box office success and is still considered one of Reese Witherspoon’s most iconic roles. She played Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls in law school to follow her ex-boyfriend. The Hollywood hit was one of Reese’s first leads and lead to more leading roles for the actress.

Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Reese Witherspoon earned her first Golden Globe nomination for Sweet Home Alabama (2002). She starred as Melanie Carmichael, a wealthy fashion designer from New York City who returns to her native Alabama for her high school reunion. The romantic comedy was a commercial and critical hit, grossing more $150 million worldwide and making Reese Witherspoon a household name.

Vanity Fair (2004)

Vanity Fair (2004) is one of Reese Witherspoon’s award-winning dramas. She starred opposite Eileen Atkins and Jim Broadbent in the adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic novel. She played Beth, an ambitious young girl who dreams of wealth and social status, winning a Best Actress nomination at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

Walk the Line (2005)

Reese Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the biopic Walk the Line (2005). Her performance was praised for its accuracy and emotion, and it earned her numerous accolades. She also earned a Best Actress Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance.

Recent Roles  

In recent years, Reese Witherspoon has starred in a diverse range of roles. From playing characters in romantic comedies to Emmy-winning performances on the limited series Big Little Lies (2017):

Four Christmases (2008)

In Four Christmases (2008), Reese Witherspoon starred alongside Vince Vaughn in a romantic comedy that follows a couple who have to spend the holidays with their family members. She plays Kate, a woman who has been too busy to commit to her long-time boyfriend, Brad (Vince Vaughn).

Wild (2014)

Wild (2014) saw Reese Witherspoon team up with director Jean-Marc Vallée. The film is based on the book of the same name by Cheryl Strayed. The movie follows Cheryl’s adventures as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail and is considered one of Reese Witherspoon’s best performances. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the movie.

Big Little Lies (2017)

Big Little Lies (2017) is an HBO limited series in which Reese Witherspoon plays Madeline MacKenzie, a passionate, complex woman with a complicated past and issues she is trying to overcome. Reese Witherspoon won an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series for the portrayal, as well as a Golden Globe for her performance.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Reese Witherspoon teamed up with Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey for the Disney family movie A Wrinkle in Time (2018). She plays Mrs. Whatsit, one of three magical guides who set out on an intergalactic quest to find the missing father of a young girl. The movie was praised for its empowering message and Reese Witherspoon’s performance was well-received.

Little Fires Everywhere (2020)

Most recently, Reese Witherspoon starred alongside Kerry Washington in Little Fires Everywhere (2020), a Hulu limited series based on the novel of the same name. Reese played Elena Richardson, a privileged mother of four, and the opposing mother to Mia Warren (played by Kerry Washington). She earned a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance.

Reese Witherspoon has been one of Hollywood’s biggest stars for the past two decades. She has been beloved for her comedic roles, as well as her dramatic performances. From Legally Blonde (2001) to Little Fires Everywhere (2020), audiences have seen Reese Witherspoon grow, mature and range as an actor. She has shown that she is capable of anything, which is why she remains one of Hollywood’s most beloved and revered figures.

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