american cinematheque

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Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey

Photo Credit: Bryan Beasley

2014 was really Matthew McConaughey‘s year. After winning an Oscar, among other accolades, the Dallas Buyers Club star accepted another trophy on Tuesday night: American Cinemathque’s annual award.

The award, which annually honors “an extraordinary artist in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion pictures,” has been given to everyone from Julia Roberts to Matt Damon to George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr. 

Matthew McConaughey & Christopher Nolan
Matthew McConaughey & Christopher Nolan

Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio Photography for American Cinematheque

After a Piper-Heidsieck champagne reception and a dinner of artichoke salad, salmon and chocolate bombs (with a celebratory bottle of the high-end bubbly sent over to McConaughey’s table as well) at The Beverly Hilton, the McConanaissance began.

Host Jimmy Kimmel made some cheeky remarks about McConaughey’s penchant for romantic comedies before introducing a woman who’s appeared in two—How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Fool’s Gold—with the star—Kate Hudson. The blonde bombshell relayed a particularly funny story about visiting her parents’ cabin in the woods with the actor when he disappeared. When she found him, he was sitting on a rock, butt naked, howling at the moon.

Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon
Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon

Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio Photography for American Cinematheque

Next up was Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Chastain, who introduced a clip from their upcoming Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, as well as cute video messages from pals Sandra Bullock, Woody Harrelson and Richard Linklater. 

Nolan himself was on hand to give McConaughey his award. He did so after telling a charming story about his own decision to quit his London job and move to Hollywood to pursue his dreams of directing, recalling that his then-boss asked him what he thought of “this McConaughey fellow,” adding, “I’m not a believer in the McConaissance. I think we’re just catching up to what he’s been doing.”

 

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain

Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio Photography for American Cinematheque

Clips of The Just Keep Living Foundation, which McConaughey set up when his father passed away, took on a more serious tone, as did the sweetness Jennifer Garner displayed when speaking about how the actor had found the love of his life in wife Camila Alves, who was sitting in the audience with his children and her mother-in-law.

There were also some serious moments when presenters Jennifer Garner praised his wife, Camila Alves, and Lili Fini Zanuck talked about the foundation McConaughey set up after his father passed away: The Just Keep Living Foundation.

Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson

Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio Photography for American Cinematheque

Accepting his award, McConaughey said, “I enjoyed watching 22 years of my career thrown at me with the people (with whom) I had my career,” the actor said. “I enjoyed that walk down memory lane.”

Sitting in the audience of the awards, which were also presented by Dolce&Gabbana and Lincoln Motor Company, which McConaughey represents, were Paramount’s Brad Grey, Jim Toth, and Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy.

Funds raised at the gala support the American Cinematheque’s public programs at the Aero & Egyptian Theatres.

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