The Career Renaissance of Matthew McConaughey: From Rom-Coms to Ron Woodroof

Will Matthew McConaughey be accepting one of these on March 2nd??

Academy Award winner, Matthew McConaughey.

This could be possible on March 3rd, the day after Hollywood’s biggest  party.

Academy Award winner, Matthew. McConaughey. Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

Will Matthew McConaughey be accepting one of these on March 2nd??
Will Matthew McConaughey be accepting one of these on March 2nd?? Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Who would have thought that the actor from films such as Sahara and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days would not only be nominated, but the favourite to take home the statue? There has been a big change of direction in his career.

Over the past five years, McConaughey has been moving slowly from the romantic comedies which he is most known for to the more dramatic roles. He has produced some excellent work, impressing both audiences and critics alike.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) was the first film that made people take notice of his talent for dramatic roles. In this film, McConaughey plays Mickey Haller, a lawyer running a law office out of his car (a Lincoln Town car, since you asked). Things take a turn when the rich Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) needs someone to defend him against an assault charge. It’s reminiscent of his role in A Time to Kill, a film which I really enjoyed!

Mud (2012) proved popular with critics. It was named one of the top ten films of 2013 by the National Board of Review. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 98% rating, stating that the film was “bolstered by a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the title role”.

However, it has been his role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club that has been garnering him the most critical acclaim.

Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a Texan electrician/rodeo cowboy who is diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. After his FDA-approved medication makes him ill, he turns to black market drugs to ease his pain and becomes an unlikely saviour in the process.

Ron is one of those characters that you start off hating but gradually warm to. He’s a proud, good time man and not especially nice. Arrogant, rude and pure trailer-trash are just some of the words I’d use to describe Mr Woodroof. In time, his rough edges are smoothed away but, thankfully, Ron doesn’t become completely saccharine. He retains his unpredictability and turns his boundless energy towards fighting the medical system, and clinging on to life.

McConaughey completely transformed himself- darkening his hair, losing 50 pounds (a little over 3 stone) and even staying out of the sun to get Woodroof’s pale complexion. He’s a shadow of the bronzed, buff man we have become accustomed to seeing on the big screen. Total Film has called McConaughey’s performance as “the best of his career”.

Matthew McConaughey has been winning every award going for his portrayal as Ron Woodroof, nabbing the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award. In my opinion, it would be foolish to bet against him adding the Best Actor Oscar to his already crowded trophy cabinet on March 2nd.

Up next for Matthew McConaughey is the lead role Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s first film post-Batman.

Not bad for a man once arrested for disturbing the peace by playing the conga drums naked.


Update: It’s official. It’s a McConaissance!

Alright, alright, alright!!!

Matthew McConaughey alongside his fellow winners Cate Blanchett (Best Actress), Lupita Nyong'o (Best Supporting Actress) & Jared Leto (Best Supporting Actor)
Matthew McConaughey alongside his fellow winners Cate Blanchett (Best Actress), Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress) & Jared Leto (Best Supporting Actor)

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