Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club

Tonight I saw Dallas Buyers Club, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.

Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) was a cowboy in the 80s in denial about his HIV diagnosis. After doing independent research, and realizing straight men could indeed contract the virus through unprotected sex, he came to terms with his situation and decided to take action.

Since the experimental AZT treatments were causing more harm than cure in their first stages, Woodroof sought alternative solutions, traveling abroad to obtain drugs that hadn't yet been approved by the FDA in the U.S.

When he returns, drugs in hand, he starts a "buyers' club" and sells memberships to fellow HIV patients. With their membership, they get a supply of the drugs.

Soon the authorities are on his tail and his operation is in danger of folding.

A painfully thin McConaughey is the perfect fit for this role—he plays an asshole really well and nails the transformative nature of the character. Jennifer Garner is also strong as a doctor wrestling with the hospital treatments she's supposed to administer and the scientific evidence Woodroof provides that proves his club is helping people.

Jared Leto stands out, even above these two, for his turn as Rayon, a transgender woman who helps Woodroof manage the club.

Overall, the film was effective if not blatantly shaking its fist at bureaucracy and the evils that accompany it.


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