Dallas Buyers’ Club Drama Director: Jean-Marc Vallee, Cast: Matthew McConaughy (Ron Woodroof), Jared Leto (Rayon), Jennifer Garner (Dr. Eve Saks) This is based on the true-life story of Ron Woodroof.
This is not an easy movie to watch. We have a rough-spoken, immoral cowboy who uses endless obscene language. Graphic sex certainly is at random and without sensitivity. You won’t much like the character at all. If you said the Woodruff character has no character you would be right.
The movie opens with a surprise thirty-day death sentence from Woodroof’s doctor. He has advanced HIV positive tests results. It returns Woodruff back into a downward spiral of drinking, drugs and attempts at sex. Then, Woodroof awakens. After being told he would not qualify for unapproved studies with AZT, he investigates alternative means offered by other countries. First, he heads to Mexico where he is befriended by a disbarred American doctor who explains the AIDS virus facts of life and death. This prompts him to begin importing drugs to the US not just from Mexico but from other countries, as well. He sets up a buyers club where the drugs are available to his “clients”. His battle for health is compounded by a bureaucracy, including the medical profession, the pharmaceutical companies and the ever-constant battle with the FDA.
As his friends quickly disappear from his life, he is left to battle his own homophobia with the very people he once mocked. It is a long process of evolvement for Woodruff to overcome his own prejudices and finally to feel the pull, even respect from those he once loathed.
Even if the characters are not someone you would invite to dinner you have to be impressed with some first-class acting. Jared Leto (who plays the transvestite side kick, Rayon) is outstanding in his role. The nuances of his character are even more complex than the Woodruff character. You will swing between repugnancy to sympathy, and he will win you over with the power of his acting. I believe that he will be in direct competition with McConaughey for Best Actor nomination. McConaughey is no longer the proverbial playboy we have come to know. I admit I have never been a fan of his; I thought he played the easy, light-weight Hollywood films too much. Then, he turned an impressive performance in the movie “Mud,”. This performance, though, is his shinning star. He is no longer a pretty face but an acting force to be reckoned with. The manner in which the two emaciated actors interact is complicated and nears perfection. ★★★★