March 3, 2014 |
In the end, Oscar voters couldn't truly avert their gaze from "12 Years a Slave. " Even though many Oscar voters found filmmaker Steve McQueen's searing chronicle of enslavement almost too harrowing to watch, "12 Years a Slave" prevailed Sunday to win the best picture trophy in one of the closest contests in modern Academy Awards history. In a ceremony in which the space thriller "Gravity" collected a leading seven statuettes - including the first directing Oscar won by a Mexican-born filmmaker - the biggest honor went to the true-life account of the kidnapping and auctioning of Solomon Northup, a New York freeman bartered as a Louisiana cotton picker.
October 31, 2013 |
Few actors can play a grifter and a good ol' boy with the laid-back precision of Matthew McConaughey. Between the sidewinder glances, the sardonic grin and that slippery Texas drawl, he uses irony, edge and considerable charm to move us into taking his most questionable characters seriously, while we forgive their indiscretions. McConaughey needs all of those substantial powers of persuasion for the gutsy, gritty "Dallas Buyers Club. " He portrays a hard-bitten, hard-drinking, homophobic Texas redneck named Ron Woodroof, who becomes an unlikely warrior on the front lines of AIDS.
October 30, 2013 |
METAIRIE, La. - The strippers were gyrating and the smoke machine was spewing its vaporous mist, but Matthew McConaughey just kept on staring straight ahead. Gaunt and mustachioed, the actor called for another shot of Johnnie Walker - if he meant a prop liquid, the bartender didn't seem to know it - and tightened his facial muscles almost to the breaking point. "Man, if you're up there, you better be listening," McConaughey whispered, candles from the table in front of him flickering shadows on his contorted face as he half-beseeched, half-ordered the heavens.
October 4, 2012 |
Director Lee Daniels has a habit of falling madly in love with characters nobody else wants, out of an underclass littered with sociopaths, psychopaths and their victims. He has done it again in the sweat-soaked noir of "The Paperboy. " It's the Florida Everglades of the 1960s, and there is nothing friendly about this place, including the backcountry alligator skinner on death row, the chippy who's fallen for him, or the journalists intent on saving him. An exceptional cast led by Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and John Cusack gives these tawdry miscreants a scuzzy, sexy, sad reality that is as unerring as it is unnerving.
December 12, 2013 |
Will academy voters reward or reject your favorite movies and performances? Time again to consult the Oscar 8 Ball for answers. 'DALLAS BUYERS CLUB' It is certain: The movie's one slam-dunk nomination comes from Jared Leto's supporting turn as the transgender woman Rayon, who partners with Matthew McConaughey's homophobic, HIV-diagnosed hell-raiser and forces him to rethink his prejudices. Leto's dramatic transformation in the role has made him one of the favorites to win the supporting actor Oscar.
June 23, 2012 |
"It's harder than anyone thinks for guys to actually be sexy. " Channing Tatum (No. 50 on Empire magazine's list of 100 Sexiest Movie Stars) was on the back patio at Cinema Bar in Culver City, commiserating with Matthew McConaughey (People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2005) and Joe Manganiello (No. 1 on Men's Health magazine's best Summer Bodies of 2011). Although a heady cloud of easy charm and testosterone was forming spontaneously above the picnic table, slowly expanding and intoxicating any females in proximity, Tatum elicited enthusiastic nods from his fellow actors as he explained just how much work it takes for guys like them to be sexy - especially when they're nearly naked.
July 15, 2013 |
You may have missed it for the racket produced by the majority of movies currently going boom-boom - or, in the case of "The Lone Ranger," bust-bust - at the multiplex. But with the arrival of Sundance Film Festival sensation "Fruitvale Station" in theaters, the opening bell for Oscar season has sounded, providing welcome news for moviegoers immune to the charms of unnecessary reboots and bloated tent-pole movies. And though we're still a long way from sending the tux to the dry cleaners to see what they can do about the stain left from Wolfgang Puck's pork belly dumplings, it's never too early to begin crafting an Oscar campaign.
January 7, 1996 |
May it please the court: Matthew McConaughey will speak for the defense. The 26-year-old Texas native, discovered by filmmaker Richard Linklater in 1993's nostalgia trip "Dazed and Confused," has steadily worked his way toward leading-man status. Last year saw him as a by-the-book cop named Abe Lincoln in "Boys on the Side" and, somewhat less memorably, as a homicidal tow-truck driver in "The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Now he's poised for stardom with "A Time to Kill," the latest John Grisham legal thriller that just wrapped in Mississippi.
August 16, 2013 |
METAIRIE, La. - In the summer of 1992, an aspiring filmmaker named Craig Borten drove from Los Angeles to Dallas to see a man named Ron Woodroof. Borten was just a few years out of Syracuse University and didn't know what kind of movies he wanted to make, or if he wanted to make them at all. But he'd read about Woodroof, a fast-living - and, as it happened, deeply homophobic - straight electrician and rodeo habitue who had been diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. First out of self-preservation and then as a grudging crusade, Woodroof began smuggling unapproved drugs from Mexico and other countries, prolonging his life and the lives of thousands of others.
January 3, 2014 |
On paper, the premise of the new HBO anthology series "True Detective" - two mismatched cops investigating the murder of a prostitute - hardly sounds like the most inventive idea; even the title borders on generic. Minutes into the pilot episode, which premieres Jan. 12, Woody Harrelson's character, Martin Hart, complains that his misanthropic partner, Rustin Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughey, would "pick a fight with the sky [if he] didn't like its shade of blue. " It's the first inkling of tension between the men who, as is all but required of TV detectives, are temperamental opposites.