Dallas Buyers Club

A question posed in the latest series of ‘Community’ asks a class of film students: Nicholas Cage is he good or bad? A question there is, according to the comedy show, no answer to. We as a cinema audience are heading into similar territory with the main lead of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Matthew McConaughey because for every ‘Failure to Launch’ and ‘Magic Mike’ there is a ‘Mud’, ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ and now this towering performance as Ron Woodroof the rodeo/electrician diagnosed with HIV. Add to this Jared Leto’s astounding Junkie transvestite Rayon, the beautiful cinematography and the stylistic direction from Vallée (the whole shoot was 25 days) and you have a film that while not being about a pleasant subject is thoroughly gripping from start to finish. The story set against the 1980’s aids epidemic centres on homophobic redneck Ron, a booze soaked drug hustler who is given just 30 days to live and facing death decides to take on the FDA to gain access to experimental drugs he believes can prolong his life and eventually the lives others. This then is a main crux of the film with Ron becoming a (dying) champion of the people while still remaining a dislikeable character. Based on a true story ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ doesn’t pull any punches in its unflinching look at an era of great uncertainty and at times is not an easy watch but striking performances and story will reward any that stick with it.

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