Post-Morten: The McConaissance

I think we can all safely say that Matthew McConaughey’s much heralded “McConaissance” phase has hit a slight thud as of late: Gus Van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” was quite possibly the worst film to play Cannes 2015, meanwhile this summer’s Gary Ross-directed “Free State of Jones” was met with lukewarm reviews and completely vanished Oscar Buzz. All this to say that these are still admirable failures and continue to show the 46 year-old actor’s willingness to continue working with well-respected directors.
And we shall always remember that astonishing string of films McConaughey put out between 2011 and 2014. In that first year alone he delivered “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” and William Friedkin’s soon-to-be classic “Killer Joe.”
In 2012 “The Paperboy“ was such a far out, perplexing movie that it had critics booing at Cannes, but once it did come out it turned out that this wholly original Lee Daniels film was actually a pretty damn good, risk-taking and deliciously lurid B-Movie. Jeff Nichols’ “Mud“ and Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike“ both followed suit and were critically acclaimed with critics raving about Mcconaughey’s acting chops.
2013 was the peak year. He earned an Oscar for “Dallas Buyers Club,“ was the lead character inHBO’s brilliant first season of “True Detective“ and then had one of the great cameos in cinema history in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street“ (cue the chest thumping).
Suffice to say this was one hell of a run, which ended with Christopher Nolan’s brilliant, flawed, ambitious “Interstellar” in 2014, and has us nostalgic for more of that rush of brilliance McConaughey in the years to come.
That run was proof that he was fed up with taking high paying roles in ludicrous romantic comedies aimed at a female crowd that just wanted to see his dashboard abs (“Sahara,” “Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” among many, many others). No, our boy wanted more than just that and we did as well, always knowing he had the talent to be exceptional. His effortless performance as Wooderson in Richard Linklater’s stoner classic “Dazed and Confused” was the highlight of that film, giving him hilarious one-liners, and a ludicrously dirty mustache to boot. Also we can never forget his Buddy Deeds in John Sayles indisputably great “Lone Star,” which ended up being a warm-up for his triumph in “Killer Joe.”
If you want to re-visit the “McConaissance“ without having to rewatch each and every one of the films mentioned then you’re in luck. Burger Fiction, in yet another one of their entertaining supercuts, have traced the evolution of Matthew McConaughey for us in visual terms. It’s enough to make you hope that the actor gets out of his current rut of films and produces another McConaissance classic. Up next for him is Stephen Gaghans “Gold which is building up Oscar buzz and is rumored for a possible slot at both TIFF and Telluride this fall. [Via OnePerfectShot]