At one point in his life, Matthew McConaughey wanted to become a lawyer. This changed however when he discovered an inspirational book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” before one of his final exams, and suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film…Thankfully he did. To celebrate the release of the critically acclaimed Dallas Buyers Clubon Blu-ray & DVD 2nd June, Filmjuice takes a moment to recognise McConaughey’s rise to fame from A Time to Kill to his much deserved Oscar winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. His ability to wow viewers with his charismatic performances and broad range of films make his roles truly memorable and one of the greatest actors of our time.
A Time to Kill (1996)
McConaughey’s big break came as the lawyer “Jake Brigance” in the suspenseful 1996 film A Time to Kill, based on the John Grisham novel of the same name, he gave a brilliant performance playing a young lawyer defending a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a turmoil and anger in the local community which is rife with members of the KKK.
In McConaughey’s next role, he starred alongside Jodie Foster in the Sci-Fi drama Contact. The film was adapted from the Carl Sagan novel of the same name and directed by Robert Zemeckis. McConaughey gave a convincing performance as Palmer Joss, a renowned author and theologian and Ellie’s (Foster) love interest. Their attraction was based in part on intellect and their common goal of wanting to know the truth about the existence of alien life.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
By the early 2000s, McConaughey was frequently cast in romantic comedies, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which was a box office hit. McConaughey gave a great performance as Benjamin Barry, an advertising executive and ladies man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Playing alongside Kate Hudson who played Andie Anderson, Anderson covers the “How To” feature for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” Both characters meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made and hilarity ensues.
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
In American thriller film The Lincoln Lawyer, adapted from the novel of the same name, McConaughey plays a defence attorney, Mick Haller who works out of chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car rather than an office. When a wealthy Realtor is accused of assaulting a prostitute, Haller is asked to defend him. The man claims that the woman is trying to get some money out of him. But when Haller looks at the evidence against him, details of the crime bring up uncomfortable parallels with a former case, and Haller discovers the two cases are intertwined.
Killer Joe (2011)
Finding himself in considerable debt, Chris, a Texan drug dealer decides the only solution is to murder his mother to collect the insurance money. Getting together with his father, they decide to hire Joe Cooper; a contract killer who also happens to be a police detective. The plan is that the money will go to Chris’ sister Dottie. However due to the size of the contract fee, Chris agrees that Joe can take Dottie as a retainer until the insurance comes through. Killer Joe marked the beginning of the McConnaisance, and McConaughey gives a riveting performance as Killer Joe, alongside Emilie Hirsch and Juno Temple.
The Paper Boy (2012)
In The Paper Boy, McConaughey stars as Ward Jansen, a star reporter for a Miami newspaper who has returned home with close friend Yardley to investigate a racial murder case. The film, directed by BAFTA and Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels, is dark and violent with an exceptional performance by Matthew.
This gritty and absorbing film, set in the Deep South, follows 14 year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) as he and his best friend, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) set out to an island on the Mississippi River, where Neckbone has discovered an unusual sight – a boat suspended high in the trees, a remnant of an extreme flood sometime in the past. Once they arrive, they realise that they are not the only ones who have discovered the treehouse boat. They meet the mysterious Mud, (Matthew McConaughey) who excels as the superstitious and tortured soul in a tale about the unspoken rules and risks of love and the reality of heartbreak.
Magic Mike (2012)
McConaughey starred alongside Channing Tatum in Magic Mike, following the story of Mike Lane, a thirty-year old living in Tampa, Florida. By day Mike works as a roofer whilst at night, he is the star attraction of the Kings of Tampa, a group of male strippers. Matthew McConaughey plays the charismatic Dallas, Mike’s boss and a former stripper who owns Xquisite. Dallas has dreams of creating an “empire” of strip clubs and McConaughey played this role perfectly. The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, was an entertaining comedy with a serious six-pack-focus.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street is the controversial black-comedy set in the early 1990s, showing the wild lifestyle of Jordan Belfort, as a young stock broker living the high life. Matthew McConaughey’s character Mark Hanna meets Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, on his way to the top. In a pivotal scene from the film, Mark provides an insight to the world Jordan is about to enter and Jordan soon becomes “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Where the world of money, girls and drugs takes hold, Belfort’s trading schemes become less and less legal.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
In 2013,McConaugheygave the performance of his career playing Ron Woodroof in the uplifting and powerful film Dallas Buyers Club. The role required McConaughey to lose an astonishing 47 pounds and earned him a Golden Globe award and Oscar for Best Actor. McConaughey did an incredible job at portraying Woodroof as a determined man wanting to change the system and the lives of those around him. It rightly earned him his first Oscar and has once again put him back on Hollywood’s radar as a certified star with acting clout to match.
Dallas Buyers Club is out on Blu-ray & DVD June 2nd 2014, courtesy of Entertainment One
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