Friday, 14 February 2014
Dallas Buyers Club
Directed By Jean-Marc Vallee
Nominated for 6 Oscars
Nominations Include: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hair-styling
It's the mid 80's, and Ron Woodroof has been diagnosed HIV Positive. But only gay men get HIV/AIDS right? Ron is anything but. Constantly having sex with various women (even more than one at a time), smoking drugs, and drinking tons of alcohol, Ron can't believe it when he is in the hospital by chance for a work accident and is told his T-cell count is so low, the doctor's are even surprised he's still alive. He's had this cough for days, but thought nothing of it. Now he's only been given 30 days to live, and there's nothing the doctors can do about it. Ron may not seem too smart, but he immediately goes to the library and does extensive research about HIV and AIDs, and learns that his hospital is doing testing for AZT, a new drug that may cure HIV. It's only in trials, and while Ron begs with a doctor he has met named Eve, he cannot get into the trials. However, Ron makes his own way to get his hands on AZT. But when he discovers AZT may actually be making patients worse, he discovers a doctor in Mexico he may be doing some miracle work to make him better. And Ron decides to form a "buyers club" so that he can offer help to anyone who's willing to pay. While originally slightly homophobic, Ron partners up with Rayon, someone he meets in the hospital who also has AIDs, and is a transsexual, who is also desperate to live.
I've been hearing about this film for a long time. First, it was photo's of all the weight Matthew McConaughey lost, and then when his career seemed to be taking a complete U-turn, people were talking about potential Oscar buzz for him, even before the film screened. I know very little about the HIV pandemic that seemed to sweep the United States in the 80's. And I didn't know anything about Ron Woodroof's story. However, this film was incredibly interested and expertly told.
Matthew McConaughey, let's start with him. I've been solidly rooting for Chiwetel Ejiofor this awards seasons (to little avail, apparently). But I was always curious to what McConaughey could've done to be outshining my favourite, and everyone's initial favourite, of the year. McConaughey, for starters, completely immersed himself in the role. He lost around 50lbs for the role (which is extremely obvious upon looking at him), and looked hardly anything like the brazen, smiling star we're used to seeing. And while Ejiofor's role seemed to be a bit more showy, McConaughey gave a subtle performance in which he was completely immersed. I've always really liked McConaughey, and could listen to him talk forever. He has about the loveliest Southern accent. I'm glad he's finally doing stuff worthy of the talent he always had. Frankly, I'm not surprised at the work he's been putting out.
Jared Leto, on the other hand, was probably even better than McConaughey, in my opinion. While I haven't seen any of Leto's previous work, Leto was also completely immersed in the transsexual character of Rayon. The voice is perfect, the gestures, the attitude, was all so great. Leto really seemed to embrace it all, and gave a fantastic performance. I'm seriously so glad to see him get so much love for this (even though I'd have loved to see Fassbender win for 12 Years A Slave as well).
Overall, the movie was interesting, and was well paced. I don't really have much to complain about for this movie as it was really well done and well acted. While it won't win Best Picture, it's pretty much a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actor, and McConaughey seems a near lock for Best Actor. Guess we will see in a few weeks!
Excitingly, this was the final Best Picture nominee for me to watch. I'm passing up on The Wolf of Wall Street for personal reasons (aka way too explicit for me) so I'm really excited with this years batch. I enjoyed pretty much all 8 of the films I saw, and it seems a pretty solid year, in my opinon.
However, Dallas Buyers Club was another fantastic film to add to the roster.
Posted by Heather Martin