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Which actors deserve their own ‘McConaissance’?

(image: eOne)

Just a few years ago, Matthew McConaughey had been dismissed by audiences and critics as that guy from those terrible rom-comsSure, he was probably making a lot of money, but he wasn’t satisfied with the work.

Having made a conscious decision to pick better film projects, McConaughey made a string of small, critically acclaimed films. Magic Mike, Killer Joe, Mud, and Bernie all led up to his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Some sharp journalist coined the phrase ‘McConaissance’ to describe this phenomenon: where a fading star stages an epic comeback by making a few wise career choices.

Let’s take a look at some actors who are really in need of their own ‘McConaissance’.


1. John Cusack

(image: Working Title)

(image: Working Title)

There was a point in time when John Cusack was ‘the thinking woman’s heart throb’. But his boom-box hoisting days are far behind him and it’s been 14 years since High Fidelity!

Cusack just needs a couple of well-chosen roles to get him back where he belongs: in our hearts.

2. Nicolas Cage

(image: Lionsgate)

(image: Lionsgate)

Without his current financial troubles, perhaps Nic Cage would be more selective with his movie roles. We want more of the actor we saw in Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation, and less of the one from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Good news, though: he’s already been getting great reviews for his upcoming indie film, Joe.

3. Adam Sandler

(image: Columbia Pictures)

(image: Columbia Pictures)

Promoting his latest film Blended on the Jimmy Kimmel show, Sandler pretty much admitted he now makes films as an excuse to go on paid holidays.

It’s not like Sandler’s always been a critical pariah: he was tremendous in P.T. Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love and Spanglish. He could do with a couple more roles like that to reform his reputation.

4. Julia Roberts

(image: The Weinstein Company)

(image: The Weinstein Company)

Remember when the Pretty Woman star was the biggest name in Hollywood? In the past 10 years, her leading roles have been spare: Closer, Eat Pray Love, and Mirror, Mirror.

However, her turn in last year’s August: Osage County could be kind of independent movie Roberts needs if she wants to get back on top of her game.

5. Kurt Russell

(image: Dimension Films)

(image: Dimension Films)

Can you count the number of great films Russell starred in? Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, and Backdraft are just the tip of the iceberg.

We know his career was supposed to be revived by Tarantino in Death Proof – but that movie had what can generously be called a ‘mixed reception’. He still has what it takes to be a likeable leading man – he just needs to find the right movies!

6. Edward Norton

(image: 20th Century Fox)

(image: 20th Century Fox)

The star of American History X and Fight Club was a pretty big deal in the late 90s and early 2000s. But rumours of being ‘hard to work with’ have since been rife. Marvel famously replaced him with Mark Ruffalo in the role of the Hulk for The Avengers.

He’s been great with small parts in the recent Wes Anderson movies; he just needs to take a couple more steps into the spotlight with some well-chosen projects.

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