THE RISE AND FALL AND RISE OF MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

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I have to say, I’m a big fan of the above. Almost teetering on man crush territory. Or is it just talent-crush?

To many people he is Matthew Mahogany, just a rom-com dwelling piece of wood with good abs and an irritating drawl. Not to me. To me, he is one of the finest actors working in Hollywood today. But it could have been so different… (queue dreamlike flashback sequence if this was actually a movie).

It started so well for Matt. A bit of an iconic role in the legendary Dazed and Confused (1993) as David Wooderson, a guy who has already left high school but just can’t let go. He followed that up (we will skim over Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation!) with a quick fire double in 1996 of A Time To Kill and Lone Star. Both solidly good movies that carry 7+ ratings on IMDb. Roles in Amistad and Contact followed the next year and McConaughey was building a pretty impressive CV.

He team up with Dazed & Confused director Richard Linklater again in 1998 for the flop, The Newton Boys. A blip but heh, every actor has them. He followed that up with Edtv which unfortunately was superseded by the superior, but conceptually similar Truman Show. It is also worth noting that the poster for Edtv is the first in many ‘Matthew leaning against co-star’ posters. I’ll note which others there are in due course.

The Texan actor bought in the noughties with below par submarine drama U-571. So far, pretty good on the career overview front. And not a rom-com in sight. Yet.

2001, trouble on the horizon for our hero as he makes The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. The first rom-com but not quite a ‘leany co-star’ poster. Either way, its bad. BUT! He swiftly follows that up, not with further rom-coms as you would expect, but with slightly mental thriller Frailty, and apocalyptic drama Reign of Fire. Neither are career highs, but they beat The Wedding Planner hands down.

Next came How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003, leany co-star poster) and the lean years continue with such efforts as Sahara, Two For The Money, Failure To Launch (leany co-star poster), Fools Gold, Surfer Dude (leany poster, this time with a tree) and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (leany co-star poster). Sandwiched in amongst this lot is a good cameo in Tropic Thunder.

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But, here’s the thing. This is where I differ from most people. I LIKE THE LEAN PERIOD!!! There I said it. I like to hear Matt spewing out cheesy lines in that Texan drawl! And I like the Indiana Jones adventure rip-off’s. They are all enjoyable Sunday afternoon viewings. I know they are naff, and Matt is just taking the pay check, and he is far better than all that rom-com nonsense, but I still LIKE them!

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past in 2009 was followed by a quiet two years where McConaughey seemed to vanish, perhaps to take stock. A once promising career seemingly in the rom-com gutter. AND THEN…

2011 to present day. A run of success which shows no signs of stopping. It started with a return to form in The Lincoln Lawyer and was followed up with a dark, twisted turn in Killer Joe and as a co-star in another Linklater movies, Bernie. The following year was just as good with The Paperboy (average movie, great performance), Magic Mike and Mud. Six great performances in two years! HE IS BACK!Β And he shows no signs of stopping, with Dallas Buyers Club and Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street coming to cinemas near you soon.

My wife thinks I’m strange in my love for McConaughey. She doesn’t get it, can’t see past the rom-com era. She looks at me funny when I say he is one of the best actors in Hollywood. I say embrace the man and his movies. And look forward to what he makes in the future, because he is on a roll!

As Ron Burgundy would attest, there is nothing like the smell of rich Mahogany!

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.

34 comments

  1. I watched Lone Star over the weekend; or the first time in many years, and was struck by how effortlessly charismatic Matthew McConaughey was in his brief appearance.
    I don’t think I’ve seen any of his films since, but that cameo will always stay in my memory.

    • Nice one man! I haven’t seen that film in years either but I know what you mean about his charisma. I don’t know what it is but effortless I certainly part of it. It’s kind of the same with Clooney in my eyes, who I also think is excellent in almost everything.

  2. Great post, of late he seems to be have been taken seriously as an actor.

  3. This guy is on absolute fire right now, I love him. Great post by the way! Can’t wait to see him in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar :).

    • Yeah he a tour de force isn’t he! His upcoming movies look great, and anything Chris Nolan does is good isn’t it so I can only guess that McConaughey will be great in that too!

  4. You’re right, I did enjoy this post! I didn’t even realize he was in “Wolf of Wall Street.” Looking forward to seeing that even more now. And don’t beat yourself up too much for liking his rom-com phase. There are a couple of movies like that that I love inexplicably. Guess it’s just a thing.

  5. rtimmorris

    I can’t quite match your love for McConaughey, but I know where you’re coming from since I’ve got a soft spot for many-a-leading-man. Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo & Joseph Gordon Levitt will always get my attention, no matter how stinky their films may look. They always deliver!

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  7. theipc

    Excellent post! You didn’t mention – so hopefully you didn’t bear witness to one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen – TIPTOES….

    ?

    • Haha, no I’ve not born witness to this film. I presume it was released during McConaughey’s ‘lost’ years?!! Should I check it out to see if my love for Matthew deteriorates slightly? Bear in mind I actually secretly like some of the rom-com stuff!

  8. Reblogged this on MOVIES & MUSIC CAFE and commented:

    I think, what with his Oscar win, it is time for me to reblog one of my earliest posts, even if it’s just to prove how right I was all along!

  9. I like the guy, not as much as you but still πŸ™‚ I want to check out True Detective apparently he’s great on that show..

  10. Yes! I love him too πŸ™‚ Never noticed the leaning period – classic!!!

  11. Love the guy. I loved him in the 90s–A Time to Kill, especially. πŸ™‚

  12. Really good piece mate. I think it’s become clear that McConaughey has never been a bad actor, just not the best at choosing roles. Although it’s a brave admission to liking some of his films πŸ˜‰ Can’t say I’m a fan of everything he’s done but he’s done some brilliant stuff recently.

  13. giorge thomas

    I’ve done your bloody poem!

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  15. Very fun post, I recently dissected the McConaissance myself. I like his rom-coms – sure he was wasting his potential, but he was always charming in them. Nowadays rom coms aren’t nearly as lovely as the stuff he starred in, it’s just weed and dick jokes over and over again these days.

    • Yeah that’s my take! His charm is his secret weapon. The rom-coms and the ‘Romancing The Stone’ style films like Fools Gold and Sahara are just decent fun. No brain power required. Like you say, nowadays the films with all their weed and dick jokes make McConaughey’s films seem like old 50’s classics!

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