Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Movie Review: "Dallas Buyers Club" (2013)

I watched three 2013 Best Picture nominees over a weekend recently...The Wolf of Wall StreetHer, and the movie I am about to review, Dallas Buyers Club, which was my favorite (it sure wasn't Wolf, as that movie is awful). Her is very good too and I will be reviewing that one next.

Dallas Buyers Club (directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Matthew McConaughey & Jared Leto) is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof (played excellently by McConaughey). It is 1985 and AIDS is really starting to hit the (mostly) gay men's community. But not only gay men are getting AIDS...homophobic electricians who also work as rodeo cowboys can get AIDS too and that is exactly what happens to Ron. He is first in denial but eventually comes to the conclusion that he either needs to treat his virus or die. He starts off by taking AZT at the recommendation of Dr. Eve Saks (played by Jennifer Garner), but AZT makes him deteriorate even further. He goes back to the hospital where he meets Rayon, a transgender woman (played perfectly by Leto) who also has AIDS. Ron goes to Mexico to obtain more AZT, but is told by exiled Dr. Vass (played by Griffin Dunne) that AZT is poison. Vass provides Ron with drugs that are not FDA approved, which greatly improve his health. So he gets an idea...Start selling these drugs to other AIDS patients. Ron begins doing just this and partners with Rayon as she will be able to help him find many more clients than he would otherwise. And thus establish the "Dallas Buyers Club" which is hugely successful with Ron & Rayon leading this band of misfits & outcasts. Ron is being hounded not only by the FDA but also the doctors who are conducting the AZT clinical trials, but Dr. Saks recognizes the good coming from the club and she & Ron become good friends. Ron continues to run the club for as long as he possibly can and not only extends his own life, but the lives of many others.

This is an excellent's a great, well-written story and has wonderful performances. This is truly a story of self-preservation & resilience and Vallée does an excellent job of guiding us through the twists & turns that this story takes. This movie has a lot of heart and it solidly depicts an overall good story. It does everything's emotional, funny, heartbreaking & thought-provoking. I think the performances are perhaps what truly make this movie what it is. Leto's portrayal of troubled Rayon is fantastic, but it's McConaughey who carries this movie on his shoulders. He lost almost 50 pounds to play Ron and truly dedicated himself to not only getting this movie made, but to playing this role...perhaps his role of a lifetime. He BECAME Ron and probably will win his first Oscar for this charismatic, bold, strong, and even comedic at times performance. I applaud him for transforming himself from always playing the "himbo" to now playing serious, complex characters (see his other more recent roles in the movie Mud & the TV show True Detective).

I don't think this movie will win a Best Picture Oscar, but I sure liked it...8.5/10 stars

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