Dallas Buyers Club
Within the first minute of Dallas Buyers Club, we learn everything we need to know about Ron Woodroof (McConaughey)- he’s a womanizing, rodeo loving, gay-bashing, machismo hustler son of a bitch. And thanks to casual referential conversation, we also know right away that AIDs has only recently made its way into social consciousness as an epidemic- and that it’s a disease only for dem queerosexuals.
Wouldn’t you know it, not to long after learning about AIDs, Ron finds out he’s HIV-positive after a routine blood test. Faced with only 30 days to live Ron fights his way through drug trials and decides to take matters into his own hands, fighting Big Pharma and the FDA for his and others’ right to live, thus beginning the Dallas Buyers Club.
Based on a true story of tenacity and survival, I think one of the key focuses of this film is transformation. This is an account of a man who went from being a simple hustler to someone who challenged an untouchable industry. Was he still a hustler? Well, yes, but he was still trying to help people. In the process, he eventually changed his homophobic ways (slowly and unceremoniously) and befriended a lovely trans-lady named Raylon (Leto). Of course, this isn’t really a Cinderella story or anything – there’s plenty of heartbreak and ostracism met along the way, all thanks to good ol’ fashioned ignorance, prejudice and human flaws.
There’s been a lot of buzz around McConaughey and Leto’s performances – for instance, #Oscar4JaredLeto is doing its damnedest to trend right now. However, like those doctors who need more “Likes” to cure a dying child, I really don’t think the Academy cares about hashtags, but whatever, good luck with that.
Anywhoo, I think it’s fair to say that the buzz is kind of worth it. Personally, I’ve really been digging Matthew McConaughey’s performances lately, and he does not fail to satisfy in this role. Additionally, I would have loved to see more of Raylon’s side of things and have her be less of a punching bag – alas, this was not her story.
To sum things up, Dallas Buyers Club is a great story of vulnerability, ferocity, and ultimately triumph. The performances are worth the viewing alone – considering they carry the whole movie – even if the villains are dreadfully callous and one-sided. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.
Final Grade: B+