Without a doubt, 2012 has been the year of Matthew McConaughey. I will be upfront and admit that I have been a major critic of McConaughey’s in the past because this is a man with obvious talent that I thought was just wasting it and taking the easy way out. Year after year we seemed to get another in a long line of terrible romantic comedies from this once talented actor. It was depressing because here is a man, once touted to be the next big thing, that seemed disillusioned with his profession to the point that he had stopped trying and no longer stretched himself. He knew that his attractive looks were enough to get him through these romantic comedies he was sleepwalking through and I am sure it was easy money to him. Looking back through his filmography, it had been eleven years since Matthew McConaughey was in anything good or delivered a performance worthy of his talents (the film in question was “Frailty”). Well I do not know what has happened, either the penny has dropped or he got a new manager, but it looks like McConaughey wants to act again because 2012 saw him in a number of hugely different roles and his was once again magnificent in all of them.
He appeared in a total of five movies in 2012 starting with the very odd “Bernie”, which he followed up with the male stripper drama “Magic Mike” (he was hilarious in his role here, and very sleazy). He was also in the, again, very odd but daring thriller “The Paperboy”, and starred in the yet to be released theatrically “Mud” from director Jeff Nichols. “Mud” recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival and from all reports, McConaughey is apparently brilliant in it. Despite all these, my absolutely favourite performance from McConaughey was as “Killer” Joe Cooper in William Friedkin’s awesome “Killer Joe”. It is the performance of his career, as he plays the killer was a subtle and quiet menace. As soft spoken as he is, you know that there is violence in this man, and he is not someone you want to be on the wrong side of. McConaughey also understands perfectly the black comedic tone of the film and his performance nuances suit this tone exactly. His expression at the end of “Killer Joe” is black comedy gold. I am so happy to see that Matthew McConaughey is back doing some real acting again and it looks as though this is going to continue into 2013 as he is currently filming Martin Scorsese’s latest film “The Wolf Of Wall Street”.