You know what America loves about Matthew McConaughey? The actor gets older (and better), and the jokes about him stay the same. For the duration of his profitable career as a frontman, McConaughey has earned guff from critics and filmgoers about his lackluster skill set, even worse judgment in roles, and proclivity for excessive shirtlessness (although, to be fair, that last one is just as often celebrated as it is admonished). But somewhere along the line, the all-smiles pretty boy learned a few new skills. The past few years have afforded us Mud, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and Bernie, all of which showcased a McConaughey who was having fun with character and churning out interesting, nuanced performances. But still, we take jabs at McConaughey, perhaps because he hasn't fully escaped his reputation with an awe-inspiring wide release. But that phenomenon might very well exist in Dallas Buyers Club.
The trailer for the drama, directed by little known but well versed filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, displays an emaciated McConaughey — a Texan playboy who is afflicted with HIV and becomes bent on circumventing the medical system (and the law) in obtaining a remedy for himself and, ultimately, his fellow sufferers. Transforming not only physically but also from a free-wheelin', hedonistic narcissist into a dutiful warrior and humanitarian, McConaughey's Ron Woodroof looks like it might just be the role that transplants him from the butt of every joke to a plausible Oscar contender.
Check out the trailer, and catch Dallas Buyers Club in theaters Dec. 6.