Mr. McConaughey and Mr. Oscar
Another Oscar© snub worth noting is that concerning Matthew McConaughey. Now, I am the first to point out that Mr. Mc. has made some unfortunate choices in the course of his career (FOOLS GOLD, dear lord). I would also like to point out that he has turned in some impressive work over the years, remember him in FRAILTY and LINCOLN LAWYER? The small but delightful cameo in TROPIC THUNDER? Those performances are scattered, alas, all too infrequently amid the insipid quagmire of rom-coms with which he has become identified.
This year, though, there were three performances in a row that proved Matthew was more than just another pretty face: ambitious yet slow-witted sheriff Danny Buck in Richard Linklater’s perfectly splendid (and also overlooked) satire BERNIE; dissolute stripper and ruthless entrepreneur Dallas in Steven Soderbergh’s unexpectedly cerebral study of intimacy, MAGIC MIKE: and, best of them all, as the titular character of a steely, oddly honorable Dallas cop who moonlights as a hit man in William Friedkin’s brilliantly dystopic KILLER JOE. ( Linklater discusses MM, among other things here. Friedkin talks about casting MM here.)
And yet, Oscar© had no love for MM.
These were three very different roles, in three very different films, and yet McConaughey performed effortlessly and compellingly in each. Is it that he makes it look too easy? Is the the insistent echo of those throwaway roles in equally disposable, not to mention interchangeable, films? Or is it that, like Tyrone Power, he is just too pretty to be taken seriously in some quarters? Is there no overcoming pre-conceived notions?