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Dallas Buyers Club

AMF_7277 (341 of 376).NEFDallas Buyers Club (2013) 

****1/2

Focus Features. Drama

Cast: Matthew McConaughey (Ron Woodroof), Jared Leto (Rayon), Jennifer Garner (Dr. Eve Saks), Dallas Roberts (David Wayne), Steve Zahn (Tucker), Griffin Dunne (Dr. Vass). Running time: 117 minutes. Director: Jean-Marc Vallee.

Back in the early 1980s when the AIDS disease “first” struck, it is a death sentence for almost everyone contracting AIDS. Matthew Mc Conaughey’s Ron Woodroof is a Texas electrician/rodeo cowboy living a risky lifestyle of illicit sex, drugs and partying but in 1985 after what seems to be a brief illness he’s told by his doctors he’s HIV-positive at age 35. At first Woodroof rejects the news casting it as a disease of homosexuals. Woodroof is rabidly homophobic and makes it known to all concerned. He continues, for a while, to drink, snort cocaine, and have sex with women he picks up at the bars.

Woodroof has a transition: he wants to live at all cost. As the movie goes along, the tough Texan becomes a campaigner for better and safer drugs rather than the toxic ATZ often making many of the users of the drug sicker after using ATZ. Woodroof meets a lively transvestite Rayon (Jared Leto) in the hospital who eventually work together to acquire drugs that are better to combat HIV/AIDS even if it means using drugs not approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Doctor Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) is in Woodroof’s corner far beyond the normal duties as a doctor. (Mc Conaughey shed 50 pounds for the role.) (Jared Leto sheds 30 pounds to play Rayon.) Woodroof already has proven the doctors wrong by living longer than the 30 days they have predicted. Soon hundreds of people are seeking Woodroof and Rayon for the large quantities of drugs are available from Mexico.

Matthew McConaughey has been on a roll as of late: “The Lincoln Lawyer” (2011), “Bernie” (2011), “Killer Joe” (2011), “Mud” (2012), “Magic Mike” (2012) and now, “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013). At Oscar time, McConaughey should be nominated as actor in a leading role; Jared Leto should be nominated as actor in a supporting role. I note that McConaughey’s character is based on a real man’s struggle with AIDS.

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