3. Matthew McConaughey – The Wolf of Wall Street
I currently believe McConaughey to be the front-runner for this year’s Best Actor race for his physically transformative role as the AIDS-ridden drug smuggler Ron Woodruff in the forthcoming Dallas Buyers Club, but I think there is a good chance McConaughey may find himself a double nominee this year with an accompanying Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. McConaughey has had a career metamorphosis that may be unrivaled in the the history of cinema, giving one of the single most seminal years of acting in 2012 with his performances in films such Bernie, Magic Mike, Killer Joe, and The Paperboy. He has hardly rested on his laurels this year either, with a strong performance in Jeff Nichol’s Mud, the aforementioned Dallas Buyers Club, and further in the future, the starring role in Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar.
Given his new found career trajectory and critical cache, you better believe people will be keen to watch his first effort directed by Martin Scorsese, awards bodies included. The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the autobiography of the same name by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). Belfort became a highly successful stockbroker in the 1990′s, living the high life to the extreme. Belfort’s hedonistic affluence and arrogance would soon get the best of him though, as the corrupt practices of both Belfort and his firm were eventually exposed by the FBI, landing Belfort in jail for a number of years.
Belfort’s life story already served as the inspiration for one film, Boiler Room, and while that film missed out on any Oscar opportunities, I don’t think the Scorsese-lead effort will suffer the same fate. Mr. McConaughey’s role in the proceedings is that of playing one Mark Hanna. Hanna apparently served as a mentor of sorts to Mr. Belfort, showing him the ropes when Belfort was just breaking into the business. Oscar history has shown that the mentor role can be very prosperous indeed, so if the part is substantial enough, it will be considered for recognition by Academy members.
The likely biggest obstacle to McConaughey’s chance at an Oscar nomination for the film will be, like so many other potential contenders, other actors in the cast. While there is no question Leonardo DiCaprio is the star of this film, there are a number of supporting characters, filled by big name actor, who will all be vying for the audience’s attention along with Mr. McConaghey. If Matthew doesn’t receive a nomination for his role in the movie, his fellow cast mates just might.
This article was first posted on May 21, 2013