Movie Club: Dallas Buyers Club

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Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner.


Dallas Buyers Club is a drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée about a cowboy called Ron (McConaughey), who discovers that he is HIV positive. At first he rejects his diagnosis believing that only gay and lesbian people get HIV. As his health deteriorates he begins to accept that he has the virus. The medication he receives from the hospital, AZT, seems to be making his condition worse. He starts to look for other treatments which are not approved in the USA. He finds a doctor in Mexico who treats his patients without AZT and has seen an improvement in their condition. By this time, Ron has full blown AIDS which had gotten worse because of his drug use. He strikes a deal with this doctor to sell his medications to HIV and AIDS patients in the USA. This is when he starts the Dallas Buyers Club.

Along the way he meets a transgender woman called Rayon (Leto). At first he is very mean to her since he is quite homophobic. He soon becomes more sympathetic towards her and they form a strong relationship. She becomes his partner in the Dallas Buyers Club and together they make money by treating AIDS patients.

Eventually the hospital realises that most of their patients are receiving treatment at the Dallas Buyers Club. The Club gets visits from officials of the Food and Drug Association (FDA) fining them for selling unapproved drugs. The movie follows Ron’s journey as he tries to get the word out that AZT is making AIDS patients worse as well as trying to get the other treatments approved by the FDA.

The film got rave reviews and is rated 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor respectively. The movie also won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling bringing the total number of Oscars won to 3.

The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof.

My Thoughts

I thought this movie was one of the best I’ve seen recently. Out of all the Oscar nominees I would make it my 2nd favourite of the lot. It is heartbreaking and also uplifting. The performances by Matthew and Jared are brilliant and they really deserved their Oscar wins. The main difference you see in them is their extremely thin bodies. They had to lose a lot of weight and the result is so shocking that I can’t help but wonder if they were alright during filming. Regardless of this, they achieved the desired effect. They are believable as AIDS patients. The character development of Ron is particularly great to watch and Rayon is the sweetest girl. I was really impressed with Matthew because I am so used to seeing him in romantic comedies like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and The Wedding Planner. I guess he wanted to be considered a serious actor? I’ve never seen Jared in a movie before but this is his first feature film in 5 years.

Dallas Buyers Club is a great movie and although it is hectic as it deals with disease, discrimination, and death. It is a a must see especially to watch the actors transform.