TIME Oscars

Explaining Matthew McConaughey’s Confounding Acceptance Speech

Matthew McConaughey accepts the Oscar for best actor for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood
Lucy Nicholson—Reuters

We parse it all for you — "Amen and Alright Alright Alright"

What exactly did he mean by all that?

After winning for his role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyer’s Club, Matthew McConaughey launched into a semi-bizarre tale about his inner life. Here is what we learned:

1. He needs someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.

2. He wants to thank God, who he looks up to. God is all about gratitude.

3. He wants to thank his family, who he looks forward to. His deceased father, he believes, is celebrating with a big pot of gumbo and a can of Miller Lite. His mother, still with us, taught him how to respect himself.

4. The person he chases is himself, 10 years into the future. He knows he will never catch up, but he wants to find out who that guy will turn out to be.

5. To all of that, he says “Amen,” “Alright, Alright, Alright” and “Keep on Livin’.”

(PHOTOS: TIME’s Portraits of the Winning Actors from the 2014 Oscars)

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