Dallas Buyers Club – Review
Like almost every other Best Picture nominee this year, Dallas Buyers club is a very dark movie. Also like many of the other of this year’s Best Picture nominees, this movie is based on true events.
Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of Ron Woodroof, a good ole boy from Texas. Ron is one hard partying homophobe. When he’s not hustling at the rodeo, he’s busy having sex, drinking and doing drugs. Unfortunately, his party boy lifestyle lands him with HIV.
Ron contracted HIV at a time when it was still widely misunderstood to be a disease that only infected homosexuals. Ron even flies off on his doctor, taking his HIV diagnosis as an affront to his manhood, which Ron really ties with his heterosexuality.
Given a 30 day death prediction from his doctor, Ron’s hustler instinct takes over, as he bribes his way into stolen AZT, a then experimental drug. When his AZT supply dries up, Ron makes a trip to Mexico that alters his life and sets him on a new direction of supplying medication to HIV patients (for a tidy profit, of course).
It’s amazing how much weight Matthew McConoughey lost to play Ron Woodruff. The man is gaunt! It’s jarring to see McConoughey this skinny. McConoughey really disappears into the role of Woodruff. McConoughey was fantastic in The Wolf of Wall Street, but that was McConoughey being McConoughey being someone else. But here, he seems like a completely different person. I know McConoughey seems to be the favorite for Best Actor heading into the Oscars, but after watching Dallas Buyers Club, I’d give the award to Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave. That”s not a knock against McConoughey at all. I just liked Ejiofor so much in 12 Years a Slave.
Likewise, while Jared Leto is amazing as Rayon, but I’d give the Best Supporting Actor Oscar to Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave.
My favorite scene in Dallas Buyers Club is when Ron, while shopping with Rayon, runs into Tucker, his former best friend, in the supermarket. Tucker pretty much abandoned Ron when Ron was diagnosed, and is shocked to see Ron still alive. Tucker’s nice enough here to Ron, but then makes a disparaging homophobic comment about Rayon that sets Ron off. Ron grapples Tucker and forces him to apologize to Rayon. This scene was great because who doesn’t like to see a bigot gets his comeuppance, and also it showed Ron’s growth. The Ron a the beginning of the movie would have been making the same homophobic digs at Rayon that Tucker did. But Ron’s grown. Rayon’s not just his business partner. Rayon’s his friend, which is awesome when you think about who Ron was at the start of the film.
Overall, Dallas Buyers Club is a very good movie, but for me, Mud remains the 2013 Matthew McConoughey movie to watch.