The omission of Matthew McConaughey from the Golden Globe nominations for best supporting actor this morning raises the horrifying possibility that McConaughey will not be nominated next month for an Oscar. This outrage cannot stand. Matthew McConaughey, hero of Hollywood, will never have a better chance at the nomination that would cap his spectacular career. That’s because this year he gave the performance against which all future Matthew McConaughey performances will be measured—the iconic McConaughey, the ur-McConaughey role.
What makes a performance iconic? Think of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. That role offers all that we think of as Jimmy Stewartness, boiled down to its purest state. Plain-spoken. Decent. Ever-so-slightly aggrieved. That’s what makes Mr. Smith the iconic Stewart role, just as Holly Golightly (plucky, elusive, chic) was Audrey Hepburn’s iconic role, and Indiana Jones (handsome, wisecracking, exasperated) was Harrison Ford’s.
And Dallas, the strip-club owner gone to seed in this summer’s hit Magic Mike, is the iconic Matthew McConaughey role. It features all that we’ve ever loved about McConaughey—his goofiness, his nonchalance, his sexy strut, his absurd self-regard—in the maximum concentration allowed by law. Magic Mike is the Hobbit of McConaugheyness, so dense in McConaughey-per-second that the human eye must retrain itself to take in such grandeur. Months later, it’s easy to forget both Mike (Channing Tatum) and Whatshisface (Alex Pettyfer), and think of Magic Mike solely as the film made specifically to give fans of Hollywood’s greatest-ever nude bongo-player all they’ve ever wanted.
So this is your chance, Academy. Reward Matthew McConaughey now, or be forced 30 years from now to give him an embarrassing honorary Oscar like you did Alfred Hitchcock. Don’t blow it! Matthew McConaughey for best supporting actor!
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.