STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn and Michael O’Neill
In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.
Based on a true story, we focus on Ron Woodroof in the start of the film in the period of 1985. Ron is a ladies man, hustler, electrician and cowboy with a care free attitude who happens to find out when he has an incident at the work place, the doctors notify him that he is HIV positive and give me 30 days to live.
Using his time to research the approved treatments and medications available for the disease, he takes a trip to Mexico where he finds alternative drugs and smuggles them into the US and thus begins establishing a buyers club, where HIV positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies, partnering up with fellow AIDS patient/transsexual Rayon and all the while challenging the medical and scientific community.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the film and thankfully it lived up to the expectations. Dallas Buyers Club does a great job of bringing you a morality tale and blending it with heavy, very heavy drama and bringing forward some of the most memorable film portrayals you’ll likely see for some time. Especially for the most part when we first meet Ron, he’s a bit of a dick and even though throughout the film he shows some moments of compassion for his fellow man, he still has a few moments of being a dick. Especially when he first encounters transexual Rayon at the hospital, he’s not at all comfortable being around with him at all, but he gradually comes to accept him for who he is and even stands up for him in one scene against one of his former friends/work colleagues. He won’t tell his feelings but the actions tell more than he can say. What else was great about this film was not only setting it at a time period when people didn’t truly understand how HIV was spread (other than believing that only gay people could spread it) and was just a punishing and unforgivable epidemic in the 80’s , but also tackling the issues of the pharmaceutical companies and the brasses of the hospital system in general and whether they are more interested in the wealth than bettering your health mentality.
Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof in such an unapologetic manner and with such swagger, it’s clear to see why he is strongly considered for an Oscar as this is his best role to date and don’t forget, he has a good number of great performances. His performance goes through a range of emotions that capture the plight of a man with a regret of what could’ve been if he not got the disease, to a man on a mission taking on the a system that is neglecting the right of the patient needs for musts, it’s understandable why a number of people get a feel good factor after the film is over. In another Oscar related performance, I think Jared Leto can’t do no better than what he does here as transexual Rayon, who acts as a perfect foil for Ron and brings the light hearted comedy moments as well as the heart of the film, if Leto doesn’t win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar I’ll be stunned. Garner is very good on screen as the doctor who is torn between following the rulebook at the hospital or doing what she believes is right.
I can’t fault the direction of the film but if I heard that high pitched noise one more time….
Perfectly executed tale of the Ron Woodroof story questioning morality and whether more could’ve been done at the time of the AIDS epidemic int he 80’s. Featuring career bests from McConaughey and Leto, this is not to be missed. 10/10