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Movie review: Dallas Buyer’s Club

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**** Dallas Buyers Club (November 2013) – Theatre

Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner. A promiscuous, homophobic Texas cowboy is stunned by an HIV diagnosis during the mid-1980s, when that is most definitely a death sentence. He finds unlikely alliances among gay men as he fights for treatment options to prolong his life.

She says: Much less sad a film than I was expecting, given that it is about young men who are dying of an awful disease. But this movie focuses on their fight for life, and while not everyone survives (hardly a spoiler), the movie doesn’t wallow in those moments. It never goes for cheap sentiment.

The gaunt Matthew McConaughey is almost unrecognizable but very good in the lead role of Ron Woodroff, who is not always sympathetic, yet you can’t help rooting for him, even before the prejudice he encounters due to his diagnosis gradually causes him to evolve into a somewhat better man. Jared Leto, as his transsexual partner Rayon in the “buyers club”, is also very good, and I wish the movie had spent more time on his rather fascinating character.

The “buyers club” is formed when the medical establishment has nothing to offer these men. They look for alternative and experimental drugs and therapies, try them on themselves first to test efficacy, then sell them with no guarantees to people who have no other hope. The response of various officials—medical, legal, regulatory—to the club forms the crux of this film. Really interesting.

And often funnier than you’d think from that description!

He says: Wow! I liked that movie! About time. (Although it was disturbing just how good-looking a “woman” that Rayon was…)

Characters from Dallas Buyers Club

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