Saturday 18 November 2017

James Demspey: Forget those insipid romcoms, Matthew McConaughey has finally come of age

YOU may forget about Mike, for it’s Matt who’s proving to be the magic one. Yes, it seems that 2012, year of the dragon, the elderly, the Olympics – not to mention potential Mayan apocalypses – is also the year of the McConaughey.

Indeed, that Matthew, the chiselled Texan whose rolling drawl has long been at odds with critical acclaim, but who has this year redefined himself with back-to-back triumphs showcasing the considerable meat in his acting chops. Gone are the insipid rom-coms, the how-to-lose-my-interest-in-10-minutes and flailing failures-to-laugh, dire movies in which he’s paired off with actresses who cannot seem to break out of that mould. In their place, a leaner and meaner McConaughey, out to defy expectations in darker turns – albeit with familiar flashes of six packed fitness. Katherine Heigl must be rightly pissed to have missed that gravy boat.

McConaughey has come of age, finally living up to the sizzling promise he showed in his feature debut in Richard Linklater’s cooler than cool Dazed and Confused. As David Wooderson, the predatory slacker with an eye for high school girls, he dominated the film, ad-libbing his way through the film and building the character up from a would-be cameo to the stuff of scene-stealing legend, essentially establishing himself as Hollywood’s go to southerner.

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