Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was the last straw. Matthew McConaughey had built up a solid back catalogue of rom-com duds throughout the noughties, becoming best known for his vaguely off-putting permatan and inability to stand up straight in posters.
But the grisly Ghosts, which starred McConaughey as a bachelor literally haunted by his failed relationships, was the tipping point. "I was getting a lot of the same sort of submissions," he told Digital Spy recently, "some comedies, some action adventure, and I remember thinking 'I like that, but I could do that next week'.
"I want to read something that spooks me and scares me and challenges me and makes me feel like 'I don't know what I'm gonna do with that, but I can't wait to find out'. So what I had to do was say no to some things."
He did, and it worked out pretty well for him. After a six-month dry spell, he started getting calls from the likes of William Friedkin and Steven Soderbergh, and so began the critical hot streak that has now brought McConaughey to the front of the pack for this year's Best Actor Oscar.
In case you've missed the McConaissance in real time, here are the essential films to get you caught up.
( future EMMY WINNER OF 2014, SEETHE ONTDCollapse )