Bruce Dern isn’t competing against Matthew McConaughey for a Golden Globe award. The Nebraska star has been nominated for Best Actor, Comedy/Musical while the Dallas Buyers Club star is up for Best Actor, Drama. But they’ll almost certainly be eyeball-to-eyeball in the Oscar race, and the real competition, of course, won’t be about their performances as much as their campaign narratives.

Dern’s, of course, is “I finally got to be an award-nominated lead actor at age 77 after a lifetime of supporting roles — you too can be a lead in your own life!” McConaughey’s is “I was a Texas bongo party-boy actor who almost drowned in a Kate Hudson romcom swamp, but three years ago I decided to reinvent myself and got into quality stuff (Bernie, Magic Mike, Mud, Dalls Buyers, Wolf of Wall Street, HBO’s True Detective) and look at me now! McConaissance!”

The word on MM’s performance in HBO’s True Detective is so good that it might put him over the top in the best Actor Oscar race….maybe.

I believe in voting for performances rather than narratives, and so my Best Actor, Comedy/Musical vote in this Sunday’s telecast goes to Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street for the Best Actor, Comedy/Musical category. But I believe in and support McConaughey in the Best Actor, Drama category — I’ll stand up and cheer if he wins. But when it comes to the Best Actor Oscar I’m still with Leo, presuming he gets nominated.

Yes, I’ve been a Robert Redford guy all through the fall but he’s more or less thrown in the towel, I regret to say.

Saved” (7.8.12): “Matthew McConaughey has turned a significant career corner. Sometime in 2009 or ’10 he must have told his agent, ‘I know I went along with these shitty romcoms before but it has to stop…you’re fucking killing me, man…will you get me out of this?…enough of the quarter-inch-deep, pretty-boy Kate Hudson flicks…that way lies death.”

“My first acknowledgement that McConaughey had changed course was in a 5.3.11 review of The Lincoln Lawyer, to wit: “For nearly 20 years McConaughey had under-achieved. The few good films he’s been in have been mostly ensembles (Dazed and Confused, U-571, We Are Marshall, Tropic Thunder) while many of his top-billed or costarring vehicles have been romantic dogshit, especially over the last decade. Now comes The Lincoln Lawyer, the first completely decent, above-average film McConaughey has carried all on his own. By his standards that’s close to a triumph.

“I should now state that I no longer regard McConaughey as a Beelzebub-like figure, which is how I described him in a 4.21.09 piece called ‘The Devil Probably.’ And that I no longer think of him as “’King of the Empties,’ which is how I put it on 7.16.06. He’s wised up, done the work, redeemed himself…no more condemnation.”