Alright, Alright, Alright!

matthew mcconaugheyThis past weekend, Interstellar, a movie I have been looking forward to since first seeing the teaser trailer last December, finally released in theaters. An intelligent and ambitious science fiction epic about a group of scientists who travel through a wormhole in space in search of a new habitable planet, Interstellar is the newest feature film from critically-acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. The film was as visually-stunning, emotionally-moving, and intellectually-stimulating as I had hoped, and, as Gravity did last year, does much to further our view of space in cinema. But although the cinematography and visual effects of Interstellar are stunning, the driving force behind the plot is Matthew McConaughey’s fantastic performance as Cooper, the everyman chosen to pilot the mission into space.

Long a favorite actor of mine, Matthew McConaughey has experienced something of a renaissance (also known as a McConaissance) over the past few years. A native Texan and graduate of the University of Texas, McConaughey’s break out role was in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming of age comedy, Dazed and Confused. His memorable performance in that film would eventually lead to starring performances in a diverse body of work in the late 1990s. But despite starring roles in movies like We are Marshall and Sahara, the 2000s ultimately saw McConaughey typecast as the male lead in a string of romantic comedies.

It wasn’t until 2011 and roles in a string of complex, critically-acclaimed films, that McConaughey really began to grow into an acting force. Movies like The Lincoln Lawyer and Mud showed a more serious side to an actor who had been pigeon-holed for a decade. Although it hardly seems fair to say that McConaughey’s renaissance has peaked in the past year, his performances did earn him an Academy Award for his role in the movie Dallas Buyers Club, as well as an Emmy nomination for his performance on the HBO series True Detective.

Matthew McConaughey’s interesting and diverse acting choices and charismatic performances continue to make him an actor worth watching. I, for one, am excited to see how the McConaissance continues to develop and what surprises are yet in store. 

For Christopher Nolan fans, read my thoughts on his films in this blog post prior to the 2012 release of The Dark Knight Rises.

Flickr CC: TIFF 2013 Photo by: Chris Cheung