At the year's half-way point, which accomplishments deserve to be remembered
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Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey, "Mud"
Once the next big thing and then a big Hollywood studio bust, Matthew McConaughey has spent the last three years proving the naysayers who mocked his acting skills wrong. "Mud," which hit theaters in April, is the fifth film in a row where the Texas native has displayed more depth and genuine gravitas than he'd even hinted at previously. As the title character in Jeff Nichols's coming of age drama, McConaughey plays a man on the run from the law and hired bounty hunters. Mud has McConaughey's trademark smile, but there is an edge to him we've rarely seen before. He has fully formed the character as a flawed man whose obsessive love has pushed him into a reality of increasingly fewer and fewer happy endings. It's a marvelous turn and based on the film's impressive art house box office a clear supporting actor contender at the end of the year. Of course, McConaughey may be competing against his own performance in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" arriving in November, but there are worse problems to have.
- Gregory Ellwood