Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

Plot: Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) gets AIDS in 1985 when the first generation of anti-AIDS drugs had just come out. He can't get into a drug trial, so he buys anti-viral drugs in Mexico, and opens up a "Buyer's Club" in Dallas to skirt drug importation laws. As he distributes drugs he meets the cross-dressing, fellow HIV-positive Rayon (Jared Leto) who helps him distribute to the gay community. Dr Eve (Jennifer Garner) at a Dallas Hospital is his doctor, and who provides a window to the medical establishment.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: A serious movie about a scary time: Dallas Buyers Club surges with emotional energy early as Ron learns he is HIV positive and then goes deep into denial. This is when McConaughey's acting is best, and he is fun to watch as he struggles to stay alive and cope with the disease. When Ron switches from patient to drug distributor and then AIDS activist, the story is less personal and less interesting.

Jared Leto's Rayon begins as an entry point into Gay culture, and some comic relief; later we see the sad backstory and some emotional energy returns. Jared Leto is fun to watch the whole time, and he is a highlight.

Jennifer Garner has a less interesting role; as a hospital doctor she has no backstory, and needs to introduce medical facts to the story. This makes her character dry. I am glad she doesn't get romanic with Ron at the end:  there are too many doctor-patent ethic problems in the movies. 

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jered Leto, Jennifer Garner

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallee

Rating: 3.0 stars: well acted, dreary, and a bit preachy

More: Matthew and Jered sure lost a lot of weight!