Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club Revisits Scary Mid-1980's

Dallas Buyers Club
Focus Feature Films
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee
Screenplay Craig Borten, Melisa Walack
With Matthew McConaughey, 
Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

It's hard to believe, but it's been over thirty years since the AIDS epidemic was first brought to the public's consciousness.

Perhaps the scariest period of the crisis was in the early to mid 1980's when there seemed to be more questions than answers on how to treat the disease and confusion to how it was actually contracted. All the while many people all over the globe were dying from a disease that was reaching horrific proportions.

This is the time, backdrop and subject matter of a great new film by Jean-Marc Vallee (CRAZY, Cafe de Flore) entitled Dallas Buyers Club

For those of us who lived during that period of history, it's a vivid reminder of mistakes made and how wrong perceptions can be dangerous.   For those among us who were too young to understand, it's an important history lesson that should be learned and never forgotten.

Sometimes True Stories can be more compelling than Fiction and this is definitely the case here.

Based on a true story which was the subject of an article in a Dallas Newspaper, Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of  Ron Woodruff, a hard living, homophobic heterosexual who contacts HIV in 1985 and is given only 30 days to live.

The role of Woodruff is played brilliantly by Matthew McConaughey in probably the role of his career.

For this role, McConaughey lost a considerable amount of weight, almost in dangerous proportions, to play the HIV-infected Woodruff.  The transformation is so real, it's hard to remember you are not watching a documentary on the subject.

The movie chronicles the battles of the gay-hating Woodruff, a self-absorbed and selfish character to be sure, and how he ends up being a hero to those with HIV and AIDS in an era when there was no known way to treat and manage the disease. Along the way he does battle with the Medical establishment, FDA, Big Pharm and many of his old friends who keep their distance when they find out he has the disease.

Breakout performances by Jared Leto as the transgender Rae and Jennifer Garner as a caring Doctor, in a way we have never seen both of these actors before, make this film a must see and one that will no doubt get awards consideration at Oscar Time.

Did Woodruff live past his 30 day death sentence?

You'll have to watch this gem of a movie to find out the answer to this question.

No comments: