It’s only natural to begin our four-month Oscar discussion with what’s sure to be the most contentious race of all: the Best Actor category. Though it’s only November, this is already one crowded arena, filled with performances that span continents, explore disease, and wrestle with failure. And unfortunately, the race can’t hold them all. READ FULL STORY
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First-time nominee Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, the role for which he lost a great amount of weight to play a man who battled AIDS for seven years after being told he had only 30 days to live. McConaughey beat out fellow nominees Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
After a prolonged kiss from his wife, Camila Alves, and a kiss on the cheek from DiCaprio, McConaughey took the stage to thank the 6,000 members of the Academy, as well as the other nominees. He then spoke about the three things that he needs each day: Something to look up to, something to look forward to, and someone to chase. McConaughey continued on to thank God, his father — who’s dancing in his underwear up in heaven with some gumbo — his mother, and his wife and kids, who are “the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me.” Through tear-filled eyes, McConaughey ended by talking about his “someone to chase.” He spoke about continuing to strive to be his own hero, 10 years at a time.
He wrapped things up with a little “Alright, alright, alright,” and his life motto: “Just keep living.”
In decades of tracking the Academy Awards, I honestly can’t recall any category, in any year, when a race was as fiercely, thrillingly white-hot competitive as this year’s Best Actor race. Just think about it: Not one, not two, not three, but four of the nominees each stands a very real chance of winning. Consider each scenario, and you’ll realize it’s true. When Jennifer Lawrence gets up to present the Best Actor award and tears open that envelope, if she ends up saying, “And the Oscar goes to…Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave,” it will not be a shock, because Ejiofor, playing a man who endures the torments of the damned, and must hold in his emotions (even as he shows them to us), and must somehow, on top of all that, figure out a way to keep his faith burning, has been justly acclaimed for being incredible beyond words in that movie. If Lawrence says, “And the Oscar goes to…Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club,” it will not be a shock, because McConaughey, this year, is the official front-runner, and has been justly coronated for giving a tough, sinewy, moving, and anger-singed performance that is widely viewed as the culminating act of his 20-year career in Hollywood. READ FULL STORY
If your wife has set a pre-dawn alarm and the two of you are awake in bed with your youngest son to watch the Oscar nominations announcement, it really would be a bummer not to hear your name called. And yet as one name after another was ticked off, Dallas Buyers Club‘s Matthew McConaughey says he had a brief moment of anxiety. “They went through all four names and I said ‘there’s only 5,'” the first-time nominee tells EW. “Then I think I saw the shot of me as Ron Woodruff before I heard my name. Yeahhh, it was nice.”
His other two kids with Camile Alves had since woken and McConaughey was eager to get off the phone to share the news with them. “I’ve got to explain it and have the conversation,” he says. “‘Remember when Papai was doing that show in New Orleans, the one where he was really skinny? Well today they’re saying ‘Hey we want to nominate you along with these four other really talented people for being one of the best performances of the year.’ I mean, there’s a lot of good stuff.”
Dallas Buyers Club was recognized with nominations not just for Best Actor, but also Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto. “Jared’s was the last name called too!” he says with a laugh. “There was definitely a point where I was like ‘ooh, ooh, ooh’ and then we heard his name and were like ‘Yes!!’
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