Reese Witherspoon’s inspired performance as June Carter Cash won her an Oscar at the 78th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. However, Witherspoon’s win as best performance by an actress in a leading role was the only victory for the film, Walk the Line, which had been nominated in five categories.
“Oh, my goodness I never thought I’d be here in my whole life, growing up in Tennessee,” said Witherspoon, a Nashville native, in accepting the award during Sunday night’s (March 5) broadcast. “People used to ask June how she was doing, and she would say, ’I’m just trying to matter.’ I know what she means.” It was Witherspoon’s first Academy Award nomination.
Joaquin Phoenix, who played Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, was nominated for best performance by an actor in a leading role, but that honor went to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his portrayal of author Truman Capote in another biopic, Capote. In the technical categories, Walk the Line was bested by three films — Memoirs of a Geisha in the costume design field, King Kong in the sound mixing division and Crash in the film editing field category.
During the awards show, Dolly Parton performed “Travelin’ Thru,” her contribution to the Transamerica soundtrack. Parton’s composition was nominated for best original song — an award that went to “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” a track from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. It was performed by Memphis-based rap group Three 6 Mafia, and the Oscar went to its writers — group members Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard.
In the major award categories, best picture honors went to Crash, a film with a large ensemble cast that chronicles a 36-hour period in Los Angeles. Ang Lee won the director’s Oscar for Brokeback Mountain.