Sunday, November 17 2013, 08:56 PM MST
Movie Review: Dallas Buyers Club
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Recommended To: Those looking for insight to the real war against AIDS in the 1980s.
Synopsis: Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is an electrician, part-time bull rider and drug abusing swindler who when diagnosed as HIV-positive is forced to search for alternative treatments as the FDA fails to move medications beyond clinical trials. Realizing he isnt alone Woodroof embarks on a mission to bring experimental drugs to the growing HIV-positive community.
Review: The struggle and frustration for HIV-positive individuals to have access to treatment in the 1980s was captured perfectly in David Frances documentary How to Survive a Plague. Dallas Buyers Club focuses on one aspect of Frances film; the establishment of quasi pharmacies that operated in a grey area of the law where HIV-positive individuals could purchase the latest experimental drugs to combat what was essentially a death sentence. The film is also unique in that its lead, the gruff Ron Woodroof, is a homophobic heterosexual who suddenly finds himself existing in what was viewed as a predominantly gay epidemic. It is as much about his changing attitude towards the gay community as it is combating the virus that is cutting his life short. Matthew McConaughey offers up a fantastic performance as Woodroof that is matched by Jared Leto's supporting turn as a drug-abusing transsexual. Together the duo helps to carry the film through the rougher aspects of the Craig Borten's and Melissa Wallack's screenplay making Dallas Buyers Club a very good film that just falls short of being breathtakingly brilliant.
-Ryan Michael Painter