In his own words, Matthew McConaughey is undergoing a McConaissance of late, getting offered challenging roles and putting out some stellar performances. To celebrate the impending UK release of Mud, here are some highlights and low blows of the Texan’s career. We’ve both gone from loathing his output to thinking he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so here’s our ode to Matt.
1) Failure to Launch: It wasn’t so much that failure to launch was bad it just wasn’t any good. Sarah Jessica Parker and McConaughey have little to no chemistry together, the plot is just ridiculous, there is a scene where McConaughey gets bitten by a dolphin (wtf!). Oh and they didn’t capitalise the actors names in the poster. There really is no excuse for bad grammar..
2) The Wedding Planner: The late 90’s early 00’s was the era of the rom com by numbers and it doesn’t get more by numbers and more sickly than this McConaughey/Jennifer Lopez offering from 2001. This film is poorly written with horrible people doing horrible and cynical things. For some reason I have seen this film twice. Which means I hate it twice as much.
3) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: This film really was an embarrassment for everyone involved (Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone and Michael Douglas!) and may be one of the worst McConaughey films on the list. The modern rom com’s take on A Christmas Carol was unoriginal, predictable and oh so so so cheesy. McConaughey puts in a solid enough performance but could do this role in his sleep.
4) Tiptoes: If you haven’t seen this film please please please watch the trailer to get a taste of exactly what we are talking about. Did the actors hear “Gary Oldman”, “role of a lifetime” and sign a contract before reading the script?? This film is LITERALLY insanity from start to finish and is a blot on the careers of all involved.
5) U-571: To say this movie is historically inaccurate is an understatement. One of the turning points in WW2 was the discovery and subsequent cracking of a naval Enigma code machine used by the Nazis. U-571 tells us that it was a crew of Americans and their heroics, spearheaded by Lt. Tyler (ol’ Matty McC), that undertook this mission, when in reality it was Great Britain (and other European Allies) that apprehended the cipher machine. It is for this reason, Matthew, that we are including this movie and your performance in the stinky end of the list.
1) The Lincoln Lawyer: The Lincoln Lawyer was the changing of the tides for McConaughey. His first film after Ghosts of Girlfriends past, this was a notable shift for the Texan actor. The subject matter was heavy, the character complex and the emotional range more demanding that anything he had done in the last decade. McConaughey is fantastic and pulls, what is otherwise a rather bland crime thriller, up to be a rather decent and enjoyable film.
2) Magic Mike: McConaughey is one of many components that makes this film great but also manages to hold his own as the sexually enigmatic club owner. He effortlessly attacks this role and its difficult to imagine another actor doing a better job. A film definitely not just for the ladies.
3) Contact: While this probably kicked off Matt’s career in unchallenging, boring rom-coms, he gives a convincing performance as the voice of reason between science and religion. This is Zemeckis at his best, and we feel that this was one of the movies from the early part of McConaughey’s, non leaning on women, career that deserves some respect.
4) Dazed and Confused: Same goes with Dazed and Confused, his first major film role. As someone that has been young, this film was a refreshing, relatable tale on adolescent experimentation, regardless of it being set in 1970’s Texas. We’ve all experimented with all manner of glorious things, even if we think we haven’t (your latex fetish must have come from somewhere, right?…). You can tell he’s nailing his performance because he standing up straight.
5) Mud: OK, hands up…We haven’t seen it yet! But having seen the trailer, listened to the critical noise and eyed up the cast list so we’re confident that this should be fantastic. Check out the trailer now for a glimpse of the McConaughey magic in action.
Watch this Space….
Dallas Buyers Club: Currently in pre production, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a drug abuser, womaniser and homophobic, who in 1986 was diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. McConaughey lost enormous amounts of weight for the role and is almost unrecognisable as the emaciated Woodroof. If Dallas Buyers Club is good, and it could be really good, we predict this could earn McConaughey an Oscar nod. The academy go crazy for physical transformations, real life stories and characters with addiction. This has all three. Remember you heard it here first.