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.
Dallas Buyers Club’s been getting a lot of awards attention lately, and its easy to see why, albeit it’s one of the weaker Best Picture efforts in my opinion (in fairness, it’s a pretty damn strong selection this year). Matthew McConaughey, in what is becoming the norm, puts in a fantastic and devastating performance as Ron Woodruff, a redneck homophobe who gets diagnosed with aids and told he has 30 days to live. That event forces Woodruff to consider his lifestyle (although not too much, he still loves drugs and booze), and he sets out to try and find a cure, in one of the many countries marketing drugs that are unavailable in the US.
The most touching aspect of the screenplay is Woodruff’s growing friendship with Rayon (a very good Jared Leto in drag), a fellow aids sufferer who helps to set up the business of the title. The film succeeds for a number of reasons – it’s a stirring story about the aids crisis, and the monopoly that large pharmaceutical companies have on the drugs that are available. As well as this it’s a terrific character study of Ron Woodruff, a man who starts off being fairly loathsome, and grows into a man fighting for justice with people who wouldn’t have looked twice at in the past. McConaughey carries the picture superbly, nailing every character beat, and showing why he’s arguably the best actor currently operating (his recent repertoire has been frighteningly good). More than this though, the film manages to be funny, touching and powerful all at once, and it’s a very good movie.
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallee
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner