Monday 22 December 2014

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

I offer my thoughts on Dallas Buyers Club, a 2013 film based on a true story starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. This drama is directed by Jean Marc-Vallée.

What would you do if you found out you had less than 30 days to live? That’s the question posed to Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), a Texan electrician who has just discovered, to his surprise - that he has AIDS. Woodroof finds himself determined not to go down quietly, and seeks out alternative therapies in countries outside of the USA when he learns of the strict laws on unapproved treatment. It isn’t long before he teams up with a fellow AIDS patient (Jared Leto) and begins importing the drugs needed illegally in order to sell treatment to those who can’t wait for the medical establishment to save them.

Dallas Buyers Club is, whilst not the sort of film that I’d normally watch, a film that’s been receiving nothing but good praise, including winning a couple of academy awards. When it showed up on the UK Netflix earlier this month it was always inevitable then, that I would eventually get around to watching it and it’s safe to say that it did not disappoint, proving to be one of my favourite films of last year, with some incredible performances from Matthew McConaughey in the lead role, an actor who has shot up to my list of people who I’ll watch in pretty much everything, especially when combined with terrific performances in this, Interstellar and HBO’s True Detective. It’s not only McConaughey who delivers an incredible performance however, because Jared Leto is on top form here which really surprised me, considering the only reason why I’m familiar with Leto is 30 Seconds to Mars, not because of his acting ability. Also, this performance has certainly got me looking forward to seeing him play the Joker in David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad, which should be very interesting to see indeed.

So it’s safe to say, the performances are utterly incredible. And on top of that, Dallas Buyers Club is a true fighting against the odds story and it’s something that I love watching. It’s a reason why Rocky is one of my favourite films – I love getting behind the underdog and wanting them to succeed. This film joins that list of movies that play with your emotions effectively and create a great film that’s remarkably, based on a true story. However, until watching this film, I had no idea as to who Ron Woodroof so I’m unaware as to how close the film stays to the facts. But it’s certainly one of those movies that will leave you wanting to read up more on the story of the people and their struggle.

Dallas Buyers Club paces itself well. There isn’t really any dull moments throughout and the film equally doesn’t move as a fast as say, a thriller would, and that’s because it’s clearly not a summer blockbuster. It’s smarter, stronger and more intelligent than most of the films that you’ll see that were released in the last couple of years and it’s certainly one of the best. Yes, a few secondary characters here and there may not be quite as developed as they could have been, feeling rather one-note, but don’t let that put you off an incredible experience.  

Using Texas in the 1980s as a backdrop, Dallas Buyers Club is an excellent film superbly directed by Jean Marc-Vallée. It’s clear to see why Matthew McConaughey won the academy award for best actor for this performance, and Jared Leto also claimed the best supporting actor at the Academy Awards. I can’t praise their performances enough. The film itself is one of my favourites of last year and it hardly puts a foot wrong. If you haven’t yet seen this film then I strongly recommend you do so when you can, because you will not be disappointed.


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