DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 17, 2013
“Dallas Buyers Club” is a transformation for all those involved. The only film of director Jean-Marc Vallée that I’ve seen is “The Young Victoria,” which garnered minimal Oscar attention a few years ago, and to which I enjoyed, but his latest endeavor is so much deeper and rich and a passion for this story breathes from the writing and the careful strokes of genius in directing the cast of actors. Matthew McConaughey may be having the best year of career, almost losing himself in the role of Ron Woodroof, a rough-around-the-edges rodeo jockey that talks smart, hates loudly, and won’t take no for answer, especially when he’s diagnosed with HIV and later AIDS. Based on a factual story, Woodroof ends up in Mexico where he learns about his disease and how to treat it effectively, returning with a trunk full of un-FDA approved pharmaceuticals, to which he takes inspiration from the east coast and initiates a “buyers club” where, instead of selling drugs to HIV patients, he’s selling memberships to get the drugs for free.
Along the way, Woodroof meets an almost unrecognizable Jared Leto, like Rayon, a transgendered AIDS patient with a connection to the gay community that is in desperate need of the drugs. Also, Jennifer Garner turns in one of her best performances to date, like the kind female doctor who sees the most change in Woodroof after his 30 days to live diagnosis. “Dallas Buyers Club” brings up several discussions worth having, especially in the sicks ability to treat themselves and with what, as well as the twisted and political nature of the FDA. Emotion runs deep within this film, made possible by the men and women stepping into these roles, producing two of the best performances of the year in McConaughey and Leto, who will light up the critics’ awards. Rich in story and character, this is one dramatic, based on a true story that shouldn’t be missed.
November 1, 2013
(for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use)
John Mac McMurphy