Ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival, a great deal of talk is about Reese Witherspoon and a possible career revival a la Matthew McConaughey’s ‘McConaissance’. The 38 year old actress stars in two films that are set to premiere at the festival: Jean-Marc Vallee’s Wild and Phillippe Falardeau’s The Good Lie.

Reese Witherspoon TIFF 2014
Reese Witherspoon takes on two very different roles - can she 'do a McConaughey'?

Both of them see Witherspoon take on dramatically different roles to the ones for which she’s best known. Wild features Witherspoon as a woman venturing out into the wilderness with a huge backpack to cover a thousand miles, and is based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, a book for which Witherspoon apparently immediately bought up the film rights before it was even published. The second, The Good Lie, casts Witherspoon as a young American woman assigned to help four young Sudanese refugees who have won a lottery for relocation to the US.

Though she won an Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter back in 2005 in Walk The Line, Witherspoon is usually regarded as a rather lightweight actress, more at home in films like Legally Blonde and Four Christmases which, though they were sizeable box office successes, didn’t carry much weight in the industry or with critics.

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On top of the two films opening at TIFF 2014, Witherspoon is set to star in an upcoming Peggy Lee biopic, as well as in Paul Thomas Anderson’s crime-comedy Inherent Vice and a similar action-comedy entitled Don’t Mess With Texas set for 2015, it’s no wonder that some are touting Witherspoon for a critical rehabilitation to add to her existing reputation for blockbusters with short shelf life. She may even be in line for another Oscar come next February.