Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for playing famous country singer June Carter Cash in Walk The Line.
Walk The Line is one of those standard biopics, except Walk The Line relies on the acting to take it into great territory. And unfortunately, the acting in this movie ranges from mediocre to just plain bad. Joaquin Phoenix is barely establishing Cash as a character, instead he works more on his voice, which isn't that good either.
Johnny Cash first encounters June Carter when he is touring. It's quite an entrance, or quite a good written entrance, when June is trying to run out on stage and gets stuck on Cash, and uses her funny attitude and charm to not let herself get embarrassed. Again, good writing, but a bad performance. Reese Witherspoon, simply, should not have played June Carter Cash. In this scene, she comes off as annoying and doesn't know how exactly to play her character. If her acting didn't help, her singing was on the same level. Carter's singing style was very distinct, like a sweet, rugged voice. Reese Witherspoon sounds like a drunk ditz friend at a karaoke bar.
From that moment on, Witherspoon is usually in the background, doing practically nothing, maybe throwing a beer bottle bombastically or failing to deliver sassy line readings like "BABY BABY BABY!" These are supposed to make June quite a lovable, free minded woman who Johnny and us could fall back on. In the hands of Witherspoon, she's just an annoying woman who can't make up her mind. I just feel annoyed and angry when I watch Walk The Line, and see such a performance that fails in every way possible in impressing me.
2005 was surely a low-point in the Academy's history, but really. Maybe it was the fact Reese Witherspoon was showing some range by taking an unlikely role, or maybe it was because it was the film most saw out of the nominees. Or maybe they just liked it, who knows. But, for me, she fails in every department. Besides the scene at the end where Johnny proposes to her, her acting is on the level of amateur, and her singing is nowhere near what the real woman sounded like. As I said before, a real low-point.