Monday, January 06, 2014

Review - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.

I think Matthew McConaughey deserves a major award of some kind this year. Not for just featuring in better movies as of late but for completely redefining his career. He is a force to be reckoned with and he showcased that in his latest movie Dallas Buyers Club.

The movie is based on a true story and takes place in the mid-80s when the AIDS virus had just hit the nation and had everyone in panic, searching for possible cures. McConaughey plays our main character Ron Woodroof; a wild, hard-nosed drug and alcohol abusing homophobic cowboy living in Texas. Ron unknowingly contracted the HIV virus and this pretty much gave him his wake up call. Matthew McConaughey completely embodies this role. He didn't lose all that weight in vain because he was truly spectacular. I didn't know who Ron Woodroof was before watching this movie but Matthew had me completely invested in his character and his journey from being a wild asshole to a man fighting for a cause. This role screams Oscar.

Matthew McConaughey aside, how about Jared Leto? He was a phenomenal sidekick and should be a lock for the best supporting actor award. I did not expect to see Jared Leto in drag but he convincingly pulled it off. Jared and Matthew's characters were a joy to watch because they worked so well with each other, despite their difference in personalities. Both characters lives are pretty much going in opposite directions as well but nonetheless I thought both were excellent as the driving forces of Dallas Buyers Club. The story is simple, engaging, and it carries some emotional weight especially when obstacles begin to arise and the virus begins to take its toll. This movie gave me a realistic look at the mid-80s during this dreadful epidemic and the prejudice all around -- I really connected with the characters. The script is excellent; amidst Ron Woodroof's foul mouthiness throughout and the tough situation beforehand, there were moments I found myself laughing at Ron's bickering and confrontations with others. I thoroughly enjoyed Dallas Buyers Club and the performances impressed the hell out of me.

Rating: 8.5/10


  1. Good review Shawna. Without McConaughey and Leto, who knows what would have happened to this flick. However, with them in it, it's a very emotionally-driven flick that doesn't get ham-handed at all, despite seeming like it could have been many, many times.

    1. Thanks Dan. The movie shed some light on that difficult period and the performances are the real deal here.

  2. Agreed. Matthew McConaughey especially is so amazing.

  3. Great review! This is one of my top favorite movies and performances by both McConaughey and Leto for the award show season.