Reese Witherspoon: Oscar-winning actor turned multimedia magnate

The Hollywood star’s latest production, Where the Crawdads Sing, has been derided by the critics, but is proving a hit with fans of Delia Owens’s source novel

Reese Witherspoon: a powerful producer of films and television, a key influencer in literary fiction, and a cross-branded lifestyle guru. Illustration: Peter Hanan

Solemnly ridiculous. Twee and clumsy. Utterly lacking in authenticity. With reviews like this – the quotes come from, respectively, the Guardian, the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph – it’s safe to say that the critics did not care for the film adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens’s bestselling novel.

“For a story about sex, murder, family secrets and class resentments,” the New York Times said in its review, “the temperature is awfully ...