Cert: 15 Runtime: 117 mins Director: Jean-Marc Vallé Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn and Denis O’Hare
Welcome to the Dallas Buyers Club!
The Matthew McConaughey train just keeps rolling, at one point in time I really didn’t like this guy. But he really has found himself, with stand out performances in Mud, Killer Joe, Wolf of Wall Street and now Dallas Buyers Club. It was well publicized McConaughey lost a lot of weight for this role and it really is the only way I heard about this film. So what is Dallas Buyers Club? Texan electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) certainly grabs life by the horns. But in 1985, this hedonistic (and homophobic) hellraiser is abruptly stopped in his tracks. Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) delivers an HIV positive diagnosis that gives him just a month to live. Macho Ron refuses to accept his death sentence and embarks on an extraordinary entrepreneurial journey. Investigating alternative treatments, he begins to smuggle unapproved anti-viral drugs from Mexico to help others as well as himself. This incurs the wrath of the government and pharmaceutical companies, but Ron acquires a surprise ally in the form of a self-destructive transsexual named Rayon (Jared Leto). Based on real events, this inspiring tribute to one man’s indomitable spirit is set against the backdrop of the battle for effective AIDS medication.
One thing I love about this movie is Woodroof actually evolves in the movie, rather than pretty much stays the same person throughout. Also, like most movies, there is a good bit of comedy to get you through the movie, but perhaps what really needs to be praised is Jared Leto as Rayon. Many times in movies, a supporting actor being good can be considered when they outdo those who are considered the lead. However, Leto instead plays the part of supporting actor in such a way where while he may not outdo McConaughey, he almost seems like the crutch, or walker, which keeps the film moving and I think without Rayon this film wouldn’t be half as good as it is.As for McConaughey, unlike his likely competitors for various awards, what you must note is that Woodroof is the sole one which has heart. For though he is a bit of a bastard, with him actually evolving past that there is the slight desire to move past the person who we were introduced to.
Also, the way McConaughey, and Leto as well, physically seem to falter due to their characters having AIDS seems more than simply makeup and them being skinny, but something which can actually, perhaps, make you forget that the real people who this is based on are dead.When it comes to issues though, I really couldn’t find many for while I wasn’t fond of the hate speech, most of those who participated got proper comeuppance. Also, I found it weird how only Woodroof and one woman were the sole, seemingly, heterosexuals with AIDS. Outside of that though, nothing really pops into my head. Though, after reading a bit about the film, I must admit it would have been interesting to see Woodroof’s daughter in the film.To me, many of the bigger release which are getting Oscar buzz have a bit too much focus in trying to be funny than telling a story, and while Dallas Buyers Club surely has its moments in which the actors are trying to make you laugh, it feels like they are truly trying to use someone’s real life story to do more than entertain you for 2 hours. My only issue is I loved the characters more than I loved the film. I do hope McConaughey and Leto get their nominations and it would be good to see them win.