9 February 2014 3:50 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto deliver Oscar-worthy performances in the unlikely story of a redneck with Aids and a transgender activist

Terrific performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto elevate this socio-medical drama out of the realms of the ordinary into something quietly remarkable. While McConaughey's dramatic weight loss may make attention-grabbing headlines, there's much more to his performance than the mere shedding of 30-odd pounds. Continuing the reinvention (dubbed the "McConaissance") which has seen him lay the ghost of grizzly romcoms such as Failure to Launch with harder-edged roles in Magic Mike and Killer Joe, McConaughey is utterly convincing as the ravaged rodeo redneck who is given 30 days to live after being diagnosed with Aids, but who stubbornly refuses to lie down and die. Despite very strong competition from Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, odds are that McConaughey will take the Oscar for best actor next month, with »

- Mark Kermode

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