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Movie Review: Dallas Buyers Club

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By Edited Apr 14, 2014 4 6
Dallas Buyers Club Promo Pic
Credit: https://www.facebook.com/DallasBuyersClub/photos/a.420462384740539.1073741827.357829627670482/494069504046493/?type=1&theater

     Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buys club takes you on a ride with the last hours of a dying aids patient in the height of the HIV epidemic that took place in the 1980's and continues until today.  Starring Mathew Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, Jennifer Garner as Eve and Jared Leto as Rayon, a transsexual woman stuck with the same fate as Ron.  Ron Woodroof learns how to skirt the medical system and get his much needed AIDS medication before it is approved for general use.  The dark and heavy world of an HIV victim is revealed as we follow Ron through the twisting trails of denial, homophobia and imminent death. You can feel the weight of the film right from the beginning and that feeling of swimming upstream does not stop until the movie is over.

     Mathew McConaughey is brilliant in his role as Ron Woodroof. Capturing the character perfectly and losing a lot of we

Dallas Buyers Club Promo Picture
ight to fill the role; making him pale and emaciated. He looks and acts incredibly sick;  struggling with his fate as he loses his friends, his job and slowly, day after day, his life. Mathew delivers yet another spectacular performance proving that he is truly a master of the craft and brings you right into his life with a sickening thud. You can feel the weight of the knowledge pulling him down and destroying his bleak frame.  Right from the beginning of the move you find out that Roy lives a high risk lifestyle yet he is presumably heterosexual and highly homophobic, even transphobic as we are to find out.  He makes that perfectly clear time and again as we find out how he is going to deal with a situation many of us would be unable to handle.

     The situation complicates itself when, in the hospital after collapsing in the street, he meets Rayon; a transsexual woman participating in the AZT trial that Roy so desperately wants to get in on. (One day they will actually get a transperson to play the role of a transperson, one day...) They begin to play cards, and their relationship at the hospital after Ron wakes up from his first coma. The intensity with which McCohaughey plays his role is palpable and intense and only continues to swirl faster around the toilet bowl as he fights for his life. Rayon as portrayed by Jared leto, introduces us to a stereotypical transgender woman. Sadly the role was not broad enough to offer an accurate portrayal of what a transwoman would actually be like. Sadly, his award winning performance, does not go a long way to further the rights and understanding so desperately needed in the transgender community.  Another opportunity lost for Hollywood.

     Jennifer Garner plays Eve, a specialist running the AZT trial and Roy's first doctor. She does her best to run the aids clinic trials with her co-worker Dr. Sevard, played by Denis O'hare, and together they run through the AZT trials with varying results.  The viewer is given an inside look at how an early AIDS clinic was run, what the pitfalls were and how they made out in their drug trials. Eve's compassion constantly battles with Dr. Sevard's practicality. "People Die Eve", he said casually, "There are no long term effects."

     This movie is dark and twisty at the beginning and then begins to takes an even more sinister twist as Roy, posing as a priest, begins to smuggle the new HIV drug AZT into the country; selling them to the highest bidder.  This is not a movie you would watch with your girlfriend if you are looking for a little escape or romance. This is hard hitting reality and it does not pull any punches. Get ready to be thankful for what you have...


Dallas Buyer Club m_spicer 2014-02-27 4.0 0 5
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Feb 28, 2014 5:31am
Good article. I think I'll check this out before the Oscars.
Mar 4, 2014 1:37pm
How do you feel about McConaughey and Leto winning Oscars for this film? I agree, it would've been nice to see an actual transsexual playing Leto's role. Perhaps it's a taboo the studios will break one day.
Mar 4, 2014 1:48pm
I hope they break the taboo! I think there are good things and bad things about it, on the bad side Leto played a stereotype, a caricature of a trans person who was not once allowed to defend her gender identity during the film. On the plus side it has raised awareness of our plight and perhaps some of the real information about us will get out that way! I held back during the review as I have been told my articles are a bit on the angry side by infobarrel. That's one of the reasons I moved my transgender articles to the book: The Transgender Handbook.
Mar 15, 2014 1:59am
This comment has been deleted.
Mar 15, 2014 1:48pm
I thought it was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Mathew and Jared were brilliant. You could tell that it meant a lot to Mac to play the role and play it well and be recognized for it. Good review.
Mar 18, 2014 10:11pm
Just saw the movie this movie on a flight a few days ago. McConaughey really gets into the role and delivers a strong performance.
Mar 24, 2014 4:12pm
I agreed with the Academy that the movie wasn't the best picture (close though), but the performances by McConaughey and Leto in their nominated categories were by far, the most deserving of their awards. Great article!
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