Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar Speech: More Focused in God or Ticket Sales?

It’s no surdallas buyers clubprise to see Fox and Breitbart throwing together approving articles on Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech. But despite the fact that it sounded rambling, here’s why I think Matthew McConaughey was actually giving a very calculated speech that went beyond praising God.

First, I have no doubt that his speech was sincere, that he meant to say just what he said.

But this is the Oscars, a room full of actors, on the biggest stage we have on Earth with a billion people watching. I think McConaughey was taking the opportunity to sell his film to a particular group who may not have seen it yet.

From Reuters:

As Woodroof, the actor brought to life a man who evolved from detestable bigot to a lifeline for fellow AIDS patients, many of them gay or transgender. At the same time, he fought for his own life at a time when doctors were scrambling to find effective treatments for the fatal disease.

I was raised Christian and my spouse and I are bringing our own kids up in a wonderful church. With several pastors among my family members and friends, ranging across the political spectrum, I’ve learned to “speak church.”

And as an immigrant’s kid, I can tell when someone is speaking to fit in with or communicate with a certain group. I’m not saying this is a special power only given to immigrants or kids of immigrants, but I’m saying my experience has taught me to recognize this with a fairly fine level of sensitivity.

If you’ve listened to and analyzed political speeches, your ears may also have been ringing with all the signals he put in there.

Not that you necessarily needed a fine level of sensitivity to get it.

This is among what McConaughey mentioned:

  • God
  • God’s scientific fact
  • guy named Charlie (not Charles)
  • family
  • wife
  • his late dad
  • Miller Lite
  • gumbo
  • pie
  • himself as his own hero  (=independent, bootstraps)
Had he mentioned guns, he would have covered all the big signals.
This is what he didn’t mention:
  • AIDS
  • the real life person on whom this story is based, in stark (and I might suggest deliberate) contrast that with everyone who spoke for 12 Years a Slave, another Oscar-winning movie based on a real life story.
Jared Leto was the one who covered AIDS, as well as Ukraine and Venezuela. I would not be surprised if they’d coordinated on that.
I think Matthew McConaughey was making an appeal to the millions of conservative Christians who probably would not have put this on their Netflix queue on any other day of the year. But now, I’m guessing those whose “Recommended” list suggests every Charlton Heston film will take a second look and may even give it a try.
I think that was his goal. I think it was an effective strategy. I’m interested to see what happens with the second life of this film post Oscars.
And you know, if you wanted church at the Oscars, for my money that happened with the acceptance speech for Best Documentary. Darlene Love of 20 Feet From Stardom opened with “Lord God, I praise you” and belted “His Eye is On The Sparrow.” There’s no church like gospel. We got CHURCH with that performance.

Cross-posted with permission from Wordy Doodles blog

Image via Official site for Dallas Buyers Club

Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Hillary Clinton, Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton Campaign song
Six Reasons “Shake It Off” Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Theme Song
Nancy Reagan dies, Just Say No, Ronald Reagan
A Not-So-Positive Ode to Nancy Reagan’s Frothy “Just Say No” Campaign
I Married for Health Insurance
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Trump Reality Check, Now with Actual Facts!
Fascism Facts
I Married for Health Insurance
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Women’s Elections Rights in Saudi Arabia: A Token Drop in an Abysmal Bucket & the Plight of Women Under Sharia Law
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
Paris attacks, Paris terrorism
Is Paris Burning?
Chinese government and women's reproductive rights, adopting Chinese girls, international adoption
Dear Xi Jinping, I Am Writing to You as an American Mom of a 19-Year-Old Chinese Daughter
The Vital Voice of Hillary Clinton: Part 1
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
The Eyes Have It!
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread