We here at BaDoink would love to offer Matthew McConaughey our very best wishes today – his 45th birthday.
The Texan-born actor is riding the crest of a wave at the moment, having scored big praise and ratings for his turn with Woody Harrelson in True Detective and scoring an Oscar for his performance in the powerful Dallas Buyers Club.
McConaughey’s career has been a strange one at times. Obviously good enough to score parts in memorable films and claim mountains of awards, he’s always been susceptible to the odd turkey here and there. See (or don’t!), for example, insipid rom-coms such as How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Failure To Launch. But hey, we’ve all gotta pay the bills, right?
Let’s not concentrate on that right now. We’re using this opportunity to wish Mr McConaughey a happy birthday and to treat you with a look at five of his best performances so far.
Richard Linklater’s cult-classic coming of age comedy has all the hallmarks of a superb teen movie: sex, drugs and rock and roll. This film also contained future stars such as Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich, but it’s McConaughey’s turn as the charismatic but creepy David Wooderson that has lived long in the memory.
A lot of us might know the kind of guy Wooderson is. That guy whose best days were at High School, when he was king of his own world, now too scared to move on lest the magic leave him for good. The character can be played with some sympathy, but McConaughey’s performance shows a character too self-absorbed, horny and totally oblivious to the world around him. For a debut film performance, you could have done a lot worse!
Martin Scorcese’s no-holds-barred thrill ride around the limitless capacity of human greed truly captured the film-going public’s imagination. The drugs, sex, violence and miscellaneous decadence that pockmarked this effort stand as one of cinema’s finest examples of raw decadence.
McConaughey’s portrayal as the crude and raucous Mark Hanna acts as the catalyst for Jordan Belfort’s (Di Caprio) descent into greed-fuelled madness. He even provided him with a little mantra, as this clip demonstrates:
The film that secured McConaughey his first Oscar to date, Dallas Buyers Club tells the true story of Ron Woodroof. Woodroof contracted HIV in the 80s and became the poster-boy for awareness of a disease that was poorly-understood and needlessly feared in society. Thanks to Woodroof’s efforts, and a regular butting of heads with the FDA, more research was conducted and drugs made available.
McConaughey’s performance is an emotive tour de force. It demonstrates how even life’s ‘bad guys’ deserve a shot at redemption, and how we shouldn’t blindly believe everything the authorities tell us. Plus, it’s a one up for the concepts of human spirit and co-operation. Despite the film’s premise casting a shadow, it’s an inspiring work for which an Oscar was well and truly deserved.
This fantastic meta send-up of Hollywood’s gung-ho action films is a winner from start to finish. An ensemble cast including Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Tom Cruise and more is loud, rude and unforgiving.
McConaughey perfectly captures the empty platitudes and false smiles that we associate with most Hollywood agents. As Rick Peck, his increasingly bizarre solutions to getting his client back into the spotlight are insane. A lot like this film!
Another teaming-together with Woody Harrelson and yes, it’s pretty much just like The Truman Show. We’re aware of this.
Regardless of this chicken-and-egg scenario, EDtv shows McConaughey in his element; playing the everyman, relatable Texan good ol’ boy, this time for the benefit of millions of watching his life unfold on the small screen.
Although reality TV has had some genuine lows, thankfully we’ve never been subjected to 24 hours of one person’s life dominating the airwaves. Give it time though!
Have we missed any notable performances? Let us know in the comments below…and once more, #HappyBirthdayMatthewMcConaughey!