ByAnne Parsons, writer at
Anne Parsons

Am I the only one still catching up with Matthew McConaughey's sharp career turnaround? Like, seriously, one minute he was a mahogany-tanned, care free rom-com himbo, the next he's this credible chameleon indie wonderboy.

Something changed in the cosmos for McConaughey. He was always the main dude in all of the chick flicks of my teens, in movies like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and seemed to be quite enjoying himself. Then there was that infamous arrest where he was caught in his house smoking pot, dancing naked, while playing the bongo drums with a friend. What a total dude.

It's not like he had never made good movies. He started his career in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused, and a few years later he did A Time to Kill. But as soon as he hit the naughties, he just stopped trying, and coasted through the decade as Hollywood's rom-com hearthrob.

It seems obvious to me that at some point, he took a long hard look at himself. Talking about his transition in recent interviews, he insists that he wasn't looking for credibility: he was just plain bored. He took a break from movies after Ghost of Girlfriend's Past in 2009, and returned in 2011, with The Lincoln Lawyer, which some believe was the start of what has been called the hilariously named McConnaissance.

The next seven of his movies that followed were:


The Paperboy

Killer Joe

Magic Mike


Dallas Buyers Club

The Wolf of Wall Street

All of these movies were pretty awesome, and showed McConaughey in totally diverse roles - from a murderous hideaway in Mud, to a suave business man in The Wolf of Wall Street. Though personally I think his best turn to date has been in True Detective, the new HBO series, which I cannot stop raving about. If you haven't started watching it already, save yourself the trouble and start now, because that's all anyone is going to be talking about!

So what chance does McConaughey have of nabbing that Oscar next week? Personally, I think he has a great chance of winning, given the reception of Dallas Buyers Club. His competition is tough though. Here are the other nominees in the same category:

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

I thought Christian Bale was laugh-out-loud funny in the offbeat comedy American Hustle, but I don't think he's a true contender for the Oscar. The actor that people have speculated most about is 12 Years A Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor, who most pundits are saying is McConaughey's toughest competition. He won the Bafta, after all, for best actor in a leading role - McConaughey wasn't even nominated.

And of course being the favourite doesn't guarantee you anything. In 2002 Adrien Brody beat Nicolas Cage, Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine and Daniel Day Lewis to win Best Actor, much to everyone's surprise.

Yet, a lot of people are saying that the Academy should be more keen on McConaughey. I am keeping my fingers crossed for McConaughey, whose star right now is burning like a gemlike flame.

Who do you want to see win the Oscar? Do you think McConaughey has proved himself with his transition? Fire your opinions in the comment box below!


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