Matthew McConaughey: Proof that indie film is a powerful medium

Matthew McConaughey: Proof that indie film is a powerful medium

If someone were to tell me Matthew McConaughey would win an Oscar ten years ago, I would have smacked that person in the ear while shouting, “Surely you jest!” Alas, it has happened and it was well deserved. Alright, alright, alright. I know this is old news but there is something to be said for McConaughey’s rise from mediocrity.

He was always a likeable actor, I mean who didn’t love Dazed and Confused? He was also, in my opinion, wonderful in A Time to Kill. Although, when the century turned, so did his career.

From The Wedding Planner to Failure to Launch, and all the romantic comedies in between, he sort of took a nose dive into playing the love interest for whatever actress was hot at the moment. I have heard that being typecast is supposed to be the worst thing for thespians. Unfortunately for my boy, McConaughey, he didn’t move away from his then niche right away. Instead, he slid into, dare I say, B movie/acting territory.

Sahara and Fools Gold were total shit. Absolute garbage. The kind of movies that make you wonder how in the fuck they got the green light. McConaughey, like his audience, was aware of the shit he was making. I remember a brief interview he did after Sahara. (Unfortunately, I can’t find it on YouTube.) He was not a happy camper. With heartfelt words, he basically said he knew that he was becoming a joke and that people didn’t want to see his movies. I believe after this interview is when he took an acting break. He could have taken his earned money and slunk away into the mist, but no! He rose like an indie phoenix out of the ashes!

Oh, the glory of the indie circuit. I almost forgot he existed until I saw his wonderfully haunting performance in the NC-17 thriller, Killer Joe. Matthew McConaughey was back, and he came to play. He then acted alongside Jack Black in the dark comedy, Bernie. After Bernie, came Mud, then The Dallas Buyers Club, and we all know how that turned out. He’s also currently one of the stars of HBO’s hit new show, True Detective (Man, that show is so friggin’ cool!). Also, according to the interwebs, he’s going to be Christopher Nolan’s muse in the sci-fi time travel thriller, Interstellar.

It’s crazy that the McConaughey that was in, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, had so much range and depth. Seriously, I would never have guessed it. That’s why independent cinema wields so much power. The actors don’t get paid shit. They’re not doing it for the big, studio paycheck. Actors take roles in indie films because it challenges their overall ability. They want to prove to themselves, their peers, and their audience that they can hack it. Matthew McConaughey did it with gusto. Bravo, sir.

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  • In between Killer Joe and Dallas Buyers Club he was in the indie movie Mud. Absolutely fantastic movie that foreshadowed his role as Rust Cohle, the most intriguing character this side of walter white. I cannot wait for the finale this evening as I have to find out who is the yellow king!

  • In reply to Dr Gonzo26:

    Arg! I can't believe I forgot, Mud! Love that movie! Corrections must be made. Thanks Gonzo :)

  • I saw Dallas Buyers Club and though it was a great role that was basically written for McConaughey and the Awards Circuit, I didn't see a lot of acting there. My take was it was basically McConaughey playing McConaughey, but with a much better script writer. I'm not going to complain about this Oscar - he did a great job playing someone very close to who he is in real life - but I will be very surprised if he ever wins another one, let alone gets nominated again.

  • No problem Marlena. Mud was a very underrated, or maybe under publicized, movie and his performance in it was top notch. I like your blog a lot as I am a big proponent of indie movies, feel they force studios to produce non-crap movies sometimes. All time favorite indie movie, at least I think it is, has to be City of God.

  • In reply to Dr Gonzo26:

    Thanks again, Doc G. Always nice to here. I only saw City of God once when it first came out. I do remember it being good tho. Are u on twitter?

  • No, friends keep telling me I need to join but I really have no interest in doing so, maybe I will one of these days.

  • Hi Marlena,
    I just came across your blog and really enjoy your writing style and wit. Keep it up.

    I wasn't really surprised at all that Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar. He's had a number of great roles through the years and diversity in characters. From the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" , "Dazed and Confused", "A Time To Kill", "Amistad", "The Newton Boys" and "Frailty" just to name a few. Most people only note his stint of horrible romantic comedies and I think that is unfair but understandable. We are only as good as our last film.

  • In reply to justinwnewcomb:

    Thanks so much JC! That means a lot. I loved him in A Time to Kill. Remember Sandra Bullock? Good stuff.

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