Matthew McConaughey has played a wide variety of characters over his career, and his resume includes a fair share of popular favorites: Dazed and Confused, Frailty, Killer Joe, Tropic Thunder and even a guest stint on the HBO television series Eastbound & Down. Recently, he’s earned a lot of praise for his performances in The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, and Mud. We’ll have to wait for Christmas to see him next in The Wolf of Wall Street, but right now, McConaughey’s impressive portrayal of real-life HIV-infected cowboy Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club is already stirring up a whirlwind of acclaim. In other words, we know what we like, but what movies make Matthew McConaughey tick? He indulges us now with his Five Favorite Films.
Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963; 79% Tomatometer)
Family, generations, hero worship, a classic American landscape and anti hero… Paul Newman, a lead with no arc. A bastard, an ass, a great character who never wavers in his ornery and despicable ways, yet I loved him. Great example of how brilliant drama can happen even if the lead character never changes. P.S. – Patricia Neal, “You want an orange? I’ll peel it for ya.” Wow.
The thriller; superstitions, New Orleans, Mickey Rourke, a barefoot Lisa Bonet in soft white eyelet cotton dresses on sandy roads… The sex scene where the blood drips from the ceiling, intercut with the boy on the street tap dancing for change… Ceiling fans.
The scene in the swamp at the end when the brothers talk about love and betrayal and he says, “It didn’t matter if she loved me. I loved her.” Poetry. A life lesson. Also, most effective car crash I’ve seen on film: jarring and lethal, it makes me feel like I’m the one getting hit every time I see it… Nicolas Cage acting with Nicolas Cage.
Brothers, family, blood, loyalty, and the thin line between civilization and human nature. Viggo Mortenson.
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012; 85% Tomatometer)
A fictional screenplay with fictional characters made so well that it felt like a biographical nonfiction drama, like a considerately staged documentary. Identity of place and people. I could smell and taste it.