At the end of our interview, I had a chance to talk to Matthew McConaughey for a few moments with the camera off, and I told him how I tend to judge his movies first and foremost on the inclusion of a whole-hearted "Alright, alright, alright." When I hear that, I know I'm in for something special, and hearing it in "Magic Mike" earlier this summer almost made me applaud in the theater.
"I only use it when I feel it's appropriate," he said. "Sometimes I only manage to work in an 'alright,' and I have to be content with that. But going back to 'Dazed and Confused,' that has always been something that feels right for certain characters, and I do… I like to break it out."
He must be walking around the house repeating it over and over and over this year, then, because McConaughey is having one of the very best years he's ever had as an actor. His work in Richard Linklater's "Bernie" earlier this year not only reunited him with a director he loves, but it also gave him a great eccentric supporting role to play.
In Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," he turned up the sleaze and it paid off in spades. It's one of his most indelible roles, a predatory club owner who knows exactly how to string the talent along, taking advantage of their dreams to fuel his own.
Finally, with William Friedkin's "Killer Joe," he's given one of the scariest performances of his career, and it feels like we're still just learning what he's capable of almost 20 years into his life in the public eye.
It sounds like this shift in focus was a conscious decision on McConaughey's part. He evidently made a decision that he wanted to find projects that didn't feel like something he'd already done, and that's led to him picking the things he's picked this year. It's exciting to see someone reinvent themselves mid-stream, and talking to him, it sounds like we're seeing the beginning of a whole new wave of roles for him that should, if they're anything like what he's done this year, be wildly exciting.
Alright, alright, alright.
"Killer Joe" is now playing in NY and will open in more cities starting this weekend.
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
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