Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Featuring a superb central performance by Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club takes a refreshingly frank and unsentimental view of the 1980s Aids crisis – it’s still a rare drama that shows HIV-positive characters as heroes rather than victims or martyrs.
Based on a true story, the film stars McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, a fast-living Texas redneck who becomes infected after a fling with a junkie. At first Woodruff is in denial, but he soon realises that his hospital treatment isn’t helping, and so begins a series of schemes to bring alternative medicines to his fellow patients.
Director Jean-Marc Vallée smartly keeps things low-key and subtle, allowing Woodruff to blossom quite plausibly from a racist homophobe into a noble civil-rights crusader, aided in his cause by Jared Leto’s fragile transsexual, Rayon. The sight of a gaunt McConaughey gives the film immediate impact, but by the end it is the willingness of the US government to help giant pharmaceutical companies in the fixing of drug prices that proves more shocking.
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