Matthew McConaughey to receive Desert Palm prize at Palm Springs Fest

The revival of Matthew McConaughey's career continues apace with the announcement he will be receiving the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film festival.

The awards gala will be Jan. 4, during the festival running Jan. 3-14, 2014.

McConaughey is receiving rave reviews for his performance as Ron Woodroof in "Dallas Buyers Club," a real-life saga of a hard-living electrician and small-time rodeo rider who is diagnosed with HIV in the mid-'80s. Given only a month to live, Woodroof pursued alternative treatments and survived for seven years.

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McConaughey has performed a remarkable turnaround the last few years, transforming from an at-times half-heartedly unconvincing romantic lead in forgettable films to an electrifying, undeniable screen presence.

His varied string of recent performances includes turns in Richard Linklater's "Bernie," William Friedkin's "Killer Joe," Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," Jeff Nichols' "Mud" and Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike." McConaughey will also be seen in Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Wolf of Wall Street."

McConaughey's striking physical transformation for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" would seem to make it awards-friendly. Last year as he was lending awards-season support to his performance in "Magic Mike," his frail and gaunt appearance for his "Dallas Buyers" part made him at times an awkward presence, difficult in some ways to even look at.

Now supporting his "Dallas Buyers Club" role with the return of his movie-star dazzle, he seems to be getting the formula just right.

Numerous winners of the Desert Palm have gone on to Oscar nominations and even wins, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn.


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Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus


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