Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Jean-Marc Valleé
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
Review: I wanted to watch this film due to the fact it was up for quite a few Oscar nominations and unlike 12 Years a Slave and Gravity I felt Dallas Buyers Club didn’t get as much hype but I think that worked in it’s favour. It was the underdog but ultimately came out on top with Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both winning Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for this film which, after watching it, is completely understandable. Dallas Buyers Club is a true story about AIDS patient Ron Woodroof who, after being diagnosed and told he only has 30 days to live, studies the disease and creates a business along with new friend and AIDS sufferer, Rayon, which sources smuggled non-FDA approved medication and alternative drugs for other AIDS patients which are showing to have most positive effects on the patients with the disease.
At first this film didn’t really have much of an appeal to me. The storyline didn’t seem like it would interest me and truth be told, I didn’t really care much for Matthew McConaughey before watching this either but as of today I am a fully converted McConaughey fan. I completely underestimated how good of an actor he is and his transformation into this role is undoubtedly one of the best I’ve seen. He took it upon himself to get into the heart and soul of this character so much so that he lost 40 pounds for the role so he would look convincing as an AIDS sufferer. His performance was outstanding and God does he make you feel for the character. Jared Leto deserves a well earned mention too. Who the hell knew he was such a good actor?! I remember seeing him in concert with 30 Seconds to Mars and here I am watching him on screen dressed as a woman. His character is Rayon, a trans-gender AIDS patient and similarly to McConaughey, Leto also went on an extreme diet to gear himself up for the role. Apparently, once in character, he didn’t snap out of it and only when the film was finished did McConaughey actually meet Jared Leto for the first time – not the character. If that doesn’t scream amazing actor I don’t know what does.
This film really wasn’t what I was expecting, actually, I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting because like I said, there really wasn’t an awful lot of hype surrounding it. It very much surprised me but in a good way and I think it was a fantastic portrayal. It focused more on his illness and the patients rather than the legal side of things which I liked because sometimes when legal matters are concerned, it can get a bit tedious, especially if you don’t understand what they’re talking about. It had lots of familiar faces in including Jennifer Garner who plays Ron’s doctor and was actually quite funny at some parts. The fact that this is a true story really is incredible and what Ron did for AIDS patients is extremely noteworthy. I loved his spirit and determination that led him to save thousands of lives all in the face of death and it shows that sometimes it takes knowing you’re doing to die to learn what it means to really live.