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Of late, Matthew McConaughey has been proving a powerhouse in one drama after another. In 2013, we were frankly stunned his smarmy turn as strip club impresario Dallas in Magic Mike didn't earn him an Academy Award nomination. Then he followed it up with jaw-dropping performances in Jeff Nichols's Mud, Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street and Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club. It's put the Texan actor in a strong position for award season, but with Academy Award nominations around the corner, one noteworthy fan is singing his praises and promising him Oscar gold.
THR reports Academy Award-winner Liza Minnelli is a big admirer of McConaughey's work in Dallas Buyers Club. As such she showed her support at a special East Coast Academy members luncheon in New York City at Monkey Bar. There, dozens of voters who are eligible to submit their suggestions for the Oscar nominations were wined and dined in hopes of wooing them on the virtues of Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto were on hand to schmooze Academy members. And their enthusiastic MC not only shared her thoughts on the film, but promised that if the Oscars didn't do right by McConaughey, she would. Minnelli said to the crowd:
"I have nothing to do with this film except that I am a fan of how it was done, of the insight and the way they played these characters. And the fact that you were watching something that wasn't necessarily comfortable but you could not stop watching. It drew you in, whether you wanted it to or not, and that's magic. That's magic. I mean, the last one [that did that for me] was On the Waterfront! [laughs] You, crazy Matthew, losing all of that weight [pats her stomach] -- it's one thing to lose all of that weight and to look like that -- that's harrowing enough -- but then to run like you did, with a body like that? And Jared, I mean, everything that you did -- all of the placements, every single second -- I felt wonderful for you, proud of you and sorry for you all at the same time, which I think one only feels for your friends. And Jennifer [Garner] was great -- she was just f---ing great! (Laughs.) I don't know what else to say. I haven't seen a movie like that in so long, and I'm so proud to be able to tell everybody. And honey [addressing McConaughey], if you don't win the Academy Award, I'm giving you mine!"
That would be the Oscar she won for in 1973 for Cabaret. But if Dallas Buyers Club continues with the award season momentum it has shown so far, she won't have to put her Oscar where her mouth is. Already the film has earned two Golden Globe nods (for McConaughey and Leto), SAG nominations, and a slew of Critics Circle honors. So Oscar could come calling, especially if members decide McConaughey is due for his astonishing slate of roles of late.
Based on a true story, Dallas Buyers Club is set in 1985, when the AIDs epidemic was intensely feared and its victims were left without a proper medical infrastructure to help them survive. When a hustler named Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) contracted the virus, he worked outside of the system to get himself and those like him the meds they needed to live. As Minnelli mentioned, McConaughey has drawn a lot of notice for the weight he lost to play a believably stricken Woodruff. For his part, Leto has won much praise for his poignant portrayal of a transgender woman named Rayon. Garner plays Dr. Eve Saks, who treats Woodroof. Dallas Buyers Club is now playing.