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Charting the McConaissance, film by film

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The mid-career metamorphosiss of the Oscar-nominated actor Matthew McConaugheyBy Jake CoyleAPSix years ago, Matthew McConaughey was starring in a movie called "Surfer, Dude," a film about as good as its title implies. He played a shirtless surfer plunged into an existential crises when his good luck with waves runs out.McConaughey did undergo an existential crisis around that time, but it wasn't about the surf. His career had bottomed out in rom-com mediocrity (his second comedy with Kate Hudson, "Fool's Gold," followed "Surfer, Dude"), overly depending on the charm of his Texas drawl. McConaughey resolved to do something about it. What has followed the so-called McConaissance has been one of the most remarkable mid-career metamorphoses in movies. McConaughey has abruptly shifted to more challenging roles and films in a creative burst that has clearly re-energized him. He's taken his matinee idol chips and exchanged them for an actor's freedom. It's been a steady renewal, building part by part. His best-actor Academy Award nomination for "Dallas Buyers Club" represents a culmination, and most expect McConaughey will be crowned with a win at the Oscars on March 2. Here is a film-by-film account of how he got here, a step-by-step guide to the McConaissanceBing: More about Matthew McConaugheyWant more Movies? Be sure to like MSN Movies on Facebook and follow MSN Movies Twitter.(AP)
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