Alright, alright, alright.
In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.
An engrossing (and gritty) tale of one’s man fight for survival. I can’t believe this was a true story. McConaughey provided a stellar performance. Worthy of that Oscar gold.
What made this story more interesting was the fact that Woodroof was a homophobic redneck who had unprotected sex with drug users. The moment he revealed his diagnosis, he was soon ostracized by his friends and evicted from the trailer park. A somewhat darker Southern take on Philadelphia.
Woodroof was very much a man on the path to destruction. At first, it was quite difficult to empathise with him. His drug and alcohol abuse merely making his condition worse. He even stole the only FDA approved drug AZT.
“Screw the FDA, I’m gonna be DOA”.
BUT as his condition deteriorates, Woodroof has to deal with the bureaucracy of the US healthcare system and the FDA as he buys and sells unapproved FDA pills. Unapproved pills that are proving more successful in their trails than AZT.
Woodroof strikes up a business opportunity. Establishing a drugs membership, The Dallas Buyers Club, for struggling AIDS sufferers who aren’t getting the proper treatment. With his partner in crime, the transsexual Rayon (the Oscar wining Jared Leto), the pair work together to fight against the system and their expiry dates.
It was incredible watching the lengths that Woodroof went to. An unbelievable story. Yves Belanger’s cinematography created a gritty look that fitted the tone and mood of the piece. Great direction by Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild), a well written script adapted from an in-depth interview with Woodroof himself by Craig Borten and a superb cast consisting of Jennifer Garner (Alias) as the conflicted Dr Eve Saks, Dennis O’Hare (True Blood) and Steve Zahn (in a surprisingly straight faced role) made this one to watch.
The pace was slow burning BUT allowed everything to bubble along perfectly. Leto and McConaughey were a fantastic duo. I couldn’t believe Leto was in this. He was on scene stealing form. The pair really put their bodies on the line for the roles. They looked ill. It did ponder the question on how far actors should go for a role. McConaughey lost over 3 stone. Crazy.
Dallas Buyers Club marked a resurgent return for the man and he hasn’t looked back since with True Detective, Wolf of Wall Street and Interstellar filling his filmography, I think there will be more to come.
Endearing, intriguing, emotional, gritty. Not what I expected at all. BUT all the better for it. Definitely worth your time.