Matthew McConaughey had done everything in the past to get a shot at winning an oscar. His acting in his last few films namely Mud and Killer Joe have been nothing short of brilliant. For this movie, he shed 40 pounds just so that he could play the character as realistically as possible and he did a fantastic job and I think he has a very good chance of winning the oscar for Best Lead Actor for which he is nominated for.
Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a Texas homophobic redneck working as an electrician while making some money on the side as a rodeo cowboy. He’s a heavy smoker, drinker, and frequent drug user who likes to engage in casual sex. His life takes a drastic change after the doctors discover that he’s HIV positive and will most likely die within 30 days. Not accepting his death sentence, he begins to do some research and discovers that there are unapproved drugs that could help him extend his life.
He crosses the border into Mexico and finds that the alternative treatments are effective so he decides to smuggle them into the U.S. He does find some sympathy in Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), but there isn’t much she can do to help him. However in the hospital he finds an unlikely ally in the transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto) who doesn’t care for government regulations either and together they establish a buyers club where members can have access to these unapproved drugs for a monthly fee. This is where Ron’s battle begins as he not only has to fight his disease, but the government as well while trying to smuggle more effective drugs to the country.
If you need another reason beside McConaughey to go see Dallas Buyers Club than Jared Leto might just be it. He too has been piling up awards this season for his supporting role as the transvestite Rayon. He also delivers a memorable performance that makes this film even more entertaining. These two characters are the driving force of the film. The film is powerful and engaging thanks to them because it really doesn’t say anything new about the AIDS plague during the 80’s or the ridiculous government and pharmaceutical regulations. Ron travels the world looking for exotic and unavailable drugs and doctors who will write prescriptions for him. It’s a sad fact when these are the most interesting sequences in a film revolving around people dying of the most devastating disease discovered in the last century. Perhaps Hollywood isn’t ready to tell this type of story yet.
Gravity may have blown you away thanks to its spectacular visuals and technical achievements, but Dallas Buyers Club will blow you away thanks to these two characters. The many flaws the film may have concerning pacing and script don’t take away from the mesmerizing experience of seeing these two actors reinventing themselves the way they have in this film. They are responsible for transforming this average biopic into a compelling and engaging one.