"The Dallas Buyers Club" is the story of Ron Woodroof, a Texan who was diagnosed with the HIV virus and given thirty days to live. Through sheer force of will and his own brand of research he was able to prolong his life and the lives of others. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto star in this dramatic film and they are excellent. Organizations which present film awards should shop at "The Dallas Buyers Club."
When Ron Woodroof is first viewed in the film he is a hard living man, working as an electrician and hanging around the rodeo circuit. He is a ladies' man who also indulges in some drugs from time to time. Thin to the extreme he avoids doctors until he is involved in an accident at work and ends up at the local hospital. There Dr. Seward (Denis O'Hare) and Dr. Saks (Jennifer Garner) tell him he has the HIV virus.
At first he refuses to accept the diagnosis, but later comes to terms with it. He seeks treatment through the use of the drug AZT but finds it has a negative effect on his body. Later through his own research he learns of other drugs that have not been FDA approved. He goes to Mexico and buys alternative drugs there.
When he realizes he can buy in bulk and sell to other people with the same kind of problem he has, he does so. When the FDA says he can't sell illegal drugs, even though they are medicinal, he organizes "The Dallas Buyers Club" which provides "members" with free drugs in exchange for a four hundred dollars a month membership fee.
McConaughey is amazing in the role of Woodroof. He lost 50 pounds to project a true image of Woodroof and it is totally apparent. He is gaunt and emaciated to the extreme. Add to that a natural swagger and he has this character nailed. H should definitely get an award nomination as Best Actor of the year.
Jared Leto is also fine as Rayon, a transvestite who becomes Ron's business partner. Leto lost an amazing amount of weight also, plus he had to be believable as a man living as a woman. He is able to pull it off and also break the audience's heart with his performance of this tragic person.
Not so effective is Jennifer Garner who plays a doctor who befriends Ron. Her role is superfluous to the construct of the story, and she is never completely believable as one who would show this kind of support. Still the role is not well written and maybe the failure to pull it off is not totally Garner's.
The film is rated R for profanity, violence and nudity.
"The Dallas Buyers Club" never reaches its projected level of entertainment due to a lack of emotional appeal to the audience. Woodroof is never truly likeable and that keeps the audience at bay. Still McConaughey's acting is so intense and direct that he boosts the art of the film to a higher level. Add Leto's skills and you have an acting masterpiece.
I scored "The Dallas Buyers Club" a medicinal 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper