Dallas Buyers

Club

RATED-(R)-117-MIN-2013

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto better be polishing up their acceptance speeches for the Oscars, because they both should win in their category. This is such a excellent film, and wow, what an absolutely riveting and fearless job these two men do in this movie. It will shatter you. What I loved most about the two characters in this fascinating tale of the mid eighties AIDS epidemic, is the fact that these two men do not like each other one bit at first. How their friendship is earned, and not in a typical bullshit story arc that is unrealistic to make us all feel warm inside, is truly what sets this apart. It is the heart of this film, and it is brutal, honest, and beautiful.

McConaughey plays (Ron Woodroof), a Dallas electrician, womanizer, boozer, coke head and bull rider, who gets himself into trouble over bad bets at the ring. He is a cowboy…and he hates anything not manly. Trouble is, Woodroof is sick and he has HIV, which was a “gay” disease in the early eighties  and he hates fags. When he finally drops at work and is told by a doctor, he wants to pummel the MD who even would imply that he could have that homosexual death sentence. He is a man’s man and he won’t listen to any of it. The doctor says that he has about thirty days to live. After reading up on the disease at the library, Ron finds about a new drug: AZT, which has been FDA approved for testing, and there will be a new study where patients will be given it along with a placebo. He goes to see Dr Saks (a very good Jennifer Garner), and asks if he can buy some of it, or other drugs from Europe that seem to be slowing down the virus.

When he finds out he can’t, he hooks up with an orderly who sells him the drugs he steals from the hospital. After abusing the drug and poisoning his body some more, he ends up back in the hospital  where he meets the transgender fellow patient Rayon (Jared Leto), who is part of the AZT study. Their initial introduction is fascinating to watch as these two end up playing cards on the bed, despite the fact that Ron wants Rayon to not even come near him.

When that finally goes south, he heads for Mexico, where he is told AZT is killing people by an exiled doctor from the States: Dr Vass (Griffin Dunne), who starts to give Ron other treatments that seem to help. With these new drugs, he heads back to the US dressed as a priest to smuggle them in and sell to AIDS patients. He meets up with Rayon again on the streets, and after another tense meeting, Ron realizes that Rayon can help with his business because all of his friends have AIDS. They set up shop in a motel, and to get around the Federal laws against selling unregulated drugs, they call it the Dallas Buyers Club, where they pay a monthly fee, and get the drugs for free.

The bureaucracy of the FDA and how it takes it’s sweet old time to test new drugs to be approved as people who are terrified die, is in plain view in this movie. Garner’s character, who is on the hospital board, starts to see the hypocrisy of the process. It is not subtle, but then again, neither is the power of Government. Why can’t people who can take non- approved drugs that seem to help, take them? It is a tale as old as time, and it will piss you off.

There are several scenes where McConaughey’s character has run-ins with his Texas old boys and they are hardheaded and prejudiced, with no sympathy for Ron any more, as he is a pariah. When he makes ones of his friends shake Rayon’s hand at a grocery store, you will cheer. McConaughey and Leto are so good in their roles and they earn every difficult scene they act in. At first, Ron doesn’t even think Rayon is a person, but over time, despite himself, he changes his mind. You will understand too. They both look like death warmed over, but their appearance is just the first layer of two great performances in one of the best films of the year. I dare anyone not to tear up when Leto visits his estranged father to help with him cashing in his life insurance policy. Boy, is this a good film. You Should See This Movie.

 

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/Hs1kpGNSRVk