Review: Dallas Buyers Club

Being a fan of Jared Leto, I’ve known about Dallas Buyers Club for quite some time. I’ve waited and waited for the film to arrive here in the UK whilst hearing about Leto and Matthew McConaughey having swept up awards all over the place! When it finally arrived, I rushed off to the cinema and watched one of the most heavy going film I’ve seen in a while.

Ron Woodruff (McConaughey), a homophobic Texan rodeo cowboy, is diagnosed with HIV and told he has 30 days to live. Together with transsexual Rayon (Leto), Woodruff forms a buyers club to bring in non-FDA approved drugs to ease the symptoms of the disease.

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While this is an incredibly interesting story, there is an issue with pacing. As the film is set over a long period of time, it loses its rhythm and has sections of slowness.

That being said, Dallas Buyers Club is a very good film. While I doubt it will receive the Best Film award at the Oscars, the nomination is well deserved. The story is very touching and well written. Not many films have main characters die off screen and have it still be very emotional. The best thing, of course, is the fact that it’s a story based on real people. Real people who not only battled against their disease and prejudice but authorities just to be able to prolong their lives.

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The cast are exceptional. McConaughey’s bigoted Woodruff goes through one of the best character developments I’ve seen in some time. Leto is equally brilliant as the drug addicted Rayon. Both can be applauded for their dedication to the cause with both transforming their usually muscular frames to nearly unrecognisable skeletons. They both truly deserve their Oscar nominations and after the way they’ve been cleaning up at every other awards ceremony, I wouldn’t be surprised if they won there too. One thing I don’t understand, however, is why no one is talking about Jennifer Garner’s role. She plays a doctor who is stuck between prescribing an almost deadly FDA approved drug and being friends with the founding members of the Buyers Club. While her role is understated compared to the leading men, it is still a great performance that I feel needs more attention.

This is a film worth seeing for the lead performances alone. It may not be considered to be one of the most mainstream films due to it’s subject matter, but it’s definitely a hard hitting film which is worth a viewing.

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