Film Review: “Dallas Buyers Club”

***1/2OUT OF 4

DallasBuyersClubPosterDirected with energy and heartfelt emotion by Canadian Jean –Marc Vallee from a poignant script by Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack this film is a tour de force of acting virtuosity by Matthew McConaughey, 43, who continues to amaze everyone with one startling performance after another (“Lincoln Lawyer”, “Magic Mike”, and “Mud”).

McConaughhey plays an idiosyncratic, homophobic Texas electrician and sometimes cowboy named Ron Woodroof who was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1985. The diagnosis at that time was tantamount to a death sentence but Ron is determined to live and seeks out alternative treatment much to the chagrin of the FDA and Big Pharma.

Ron reinvents himself as a businessman in the underground world of HIV and sets up a club that allows members to buy drugs he secretly brings to the USA from trips all over the world. This sets up many amusing scenes where Ron acting as a sort of “David” takes on the “Goliath” establishment.

We never really learn how Ron got AIDS but his response to his doctor’s diagnosis rings true. “There ain’t nothing’out there that can kill Ron Woodroof in 30 days”.

Ron’s opinions of gays and transvestites changed as quickly as his life’s mission.  He meets a transsexual druggie named Rayon (superb Jared Leto) at the hospital as a roommate and he slowly accepts him/her as a business partner and later a lover. Jennifer Garner also gives a strong performance as Dr. Eve Saks who  puts Ron on an AZT medical trial and plays the role of a devoted and dedicated physician.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is one of the most surprising films of 2013. Although it derives its story from real life at times it stretches the truth.  Nevertheless,  it deserves your attention. See it.

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