What early releases deserve recognition come January 2013?
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6. Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike"
McConaughey's riotous tragicomic turn as the leathery, toxi-tanned father hen of a Tampa male-stripper troupe may not even be the best performance in "Magic Mike," for my money the best major US release of 2012 so far. I'd be as happy with nominations for Channing Tatum and -- here's something I never thought I'd write -- Alex Pettyfer, but McConaughey's toned-yet-withered steed somehow emerges as the unpretty soul of this improbably touching film, like Joel Grey's "Cabaret" emcee with the makeup removed. Some of it, at any rate. McConaughey has really turned a corner this past year, with strong work in "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Killer Joe," "Mud" and "Bernie" all contributing to his case for some mid-career Academy love. --Guy Lodge