117 Min | Biography – Drama – History | February 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Dallas Buyers Club Review: Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of an electrician / rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) and his unlikely campaign to spread awareness and provide comfort and medicine for those who contracted AIDS. The story is set in Dallas in 1985 where Woodroof works hard and plays even harder, drinking, smoking, abusing illegal drugs and having casual sex. After seeing a doctor after a work-related injury, Woodroof is informed he has the AIDS virus and is given a month to live. At first, his ignorance and bravado prompt a defiant denial. Once he comes to terms and accepts the facts, he refuses to accept that there’s nothing he can do. He does whatever he can to find treatments to at least prolong his life. In the process, he befriends and helps others who are afflicted with AIDS, others he would normally have nothing to do with.
Rayon is a cross-dressing prostitute who starts as Woodroof’s business partner and ends up his friend as Woodroof’s greedy nature evolves into compassion. When hospitals refuse to give Woodroof any treatment for his AIDS because the medicine has not been approved by the FDA, his investigation leads him to Mexico. There, Woodroof concocts a scheme to make a lot of money by smuggling the experimental medication into the United States and distributing the drugs to those who need it. In an effort to evade the FDA, Woodroof starts the Dallas Buyers Club and sells memberships, not drugs. The drugs just come with the membership. At first, this is just a way for Woodroof to prolong his own life and make some money in the process. Somewhere along the way, he finds himself compelled to actually fight for the right of those with the AIDS virus to obtain treatment and to be treated not only for their illness, but also as human beings.
Dallas Buyers Club is exactly what the preview proclaims it to be: the story of Ron Woodroof dealing with contracting the AIDS virus, fighting with hospitals that are handcuffed by the FDA as far as what treatments they are allowed to administer, fighting with the FDA which is less concerned about actual treatment and more concerned about profit, and fighting with stereotypes about those who have contracted the virus. It’s a sad story, it’s upsetting, and it was brilliantly acted by McConaughey and Leto who definitely deserve the Oscar nominations they have received.
Links to Download ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ in the excellent SQ print: