McConaissance… The Renaissance of Matthew McConaughey’s Career

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If I had asked you a few years ago, “describe Matthew McConaughey’s career in three words”…. “OSCAR-WORTHY” might not have been among those three words… (“shirtless” comes to mind though).

Not to discount some of his earlier work – I thought he was fantastic in Dazed and Confused, Amistad, A Time To Kill, Contact and even EdTV – but, for a long while, McConaughey seemed to be lost to the underwhelming formulaic rom-com lead hunk vortex of wedding planners, ghosts of girlfriends past, Sahara’s and losing guys in 10 days (I’ll caveat this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with that – in fact….I happen to love a good rom-com).

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Matthew McConaughey is a serious actor y’all. You better take notice. In the past few years, McConaughey has shifted his focus from safe rom-coms to more complex and unconventional films.  You could call it a renaissance, or a McConaissance.

Renaissance:the period of European history between the 14th and 17th centuries when there was a new interest in science and in ancient art and literature especially in Italy

: a situation or period of time when there is a new interest in something that has not been popular in a long time

: a period of new growth or activity

 

McConaissance: a period of new growth and activity in the career of Matthew McConaughey

His recent work in The Lincoln Lawyer and Killer Joe garnered McConaughey some fine critical praise. The real turning point for me was his haunting and soulful portrayal of the titular character Mud, a fugitive awaiting the return of his one true love. Mud was the best film that nobody saw in 2013 – old fashioned, moving and full of fantastic performances – I highly recommend it.

His Academy Award nomination may have come as a surprise for some – but, having seen Dallas Buyers Club, I can say that it’s well deserved. McConaughey’s starkly enthralling performance is truly the best of his career. Not only is his physical transformation shocking – he’s gone from the muscle-bound stud of Magic Mike to a skeletal frame (losing over 50 lbs), reminiscent of Christian Bale’s weight-loss for The Machinist. His appearance withers as his illness progresses – it’s a breathtaking display of commitment to a role. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club has garnered worldwide recognition for his talent, along with wins at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and Broadcast Critics Awards. He’s currently the front-runner for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role.

His appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street was incredibly brief (given it’s 3-hour running time), yet incredibly memorable. Rapid-fire, hilarious and obnoxious – a complete reversal of his “nice-guy” image in a matter of mere seconds.

Alongside Woody Harrelson, McConaughey is currently producing and starring in HBO’s True Detective, a dark, cerebral and haunting crime thriller set in the wastelands of Louisiana. It’s completely unexpected and absolutely fascinating.

Later this year, McConaughey will star in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Not much is known about the film, but the fact that McConughey and Nolan are involved, makes this one of the most anticipated films of 2014.

The best thing about McConaughey, besides his trademark drawl, is the absolute no-nonsense swagger that comes with him. You never really feel like he’s “acting” – and his evolution, from surfer dude to serious awards circuit contender has been as fluid as McConaughey’s charm. It’s an absolutely exciting time in his career. With the recent career choices he’s made and roles he’s taken, he’s building a sensational and demanding portfolio of work.

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Matthew McConaughey truly is experiencing his career renaissance…his McConaissance…it’s been an uphill climb, but he’s truly hitting his stride ….and I think that’s alllllriiiiiight allllllriiiiiight alllllriiiiiiiight with him.

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5 thoughts on “McConaissance… The Renaissance of Matthew McConaughey’s Career

  1. OMG…McConaughey is truly my absolute favourite. This was a very well written piece about a not-so-well understood actor! His range is amazing though I must say, I do love him most when he can use that southern drawl and swagger because it’s just so ingrained in him and truly authentic! The role I also REALLY enjoyed him in (and don’t hate me for being who I am) was an exaggerated version of himself when he appeared for a cameo in Sex and the City…”That’s BULLSHIT Carrie and YOU know it!” Still use it… I certainly hope he continues to get some industry recognition!

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