Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey has been on the periphrasis of becoming a major blockbuster star for a very long time. He is a A-lister actor, but the one missing piece is that he has never gone on a serious Oscar run before. That will now change thanks to his new movie, “Dallas Buyers Club” which begins its South Florida run today, November 15. Not only will McConaughey make a serious run at Oscar gold and other awards this year, it will be a major upset if he doesn’t win.

The year is 1985 and Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) lives a hard, fast life in the state of Texas. An electrician and sometimes bull rider by day and a heavy partier who smokes, drinks, does drugs and has unprotected sex with a large number of women by night. At a trip to the hospital, the doctor on duty informs him that he is HIV positive and has only 30 days to live and he should put his affairs in order. Ron does not believe him since that is a “fag’s disease”. However, once Ron researches that the sickness is not just regulated to homosexuals, he knows that it is the truth.

Ron flirts with the drug AZT, the Food and Drug Administration approved medication to fight AIDS at that time, but he discovers better results from drugs that exist in other countries that are not approved by the FDA. With the helps of a transsexual named Rayon (Jared Leto), he forms the Dallas Buys Club, where he sells these drugs to other AIDS patients who are looking for alternative medicines. The FDA and other local officials want to want to put a stop to Ron and his buyers club.

The first thing you will notice about Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” is the physical transformation he made to be in this movie. He reportedly lost 50 pounds and when you see how gaunt he looks it is almost jarring to see. His performance will jar you even more. Thanks to a great screenplay by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Ron Woodroof has a fantastic character arc to travel. When we first meet him he is a stereotypical redneck, by the end of the movie he is a true crusader. Maybe he formed the club as a means to make money, but he truly believes in the medicines he sells and really wants to help others who were affected by that disease.

While Matthew McConaughey should be a heavy favorite to win Best Actor this year, Jared Leto should also be a shoo-in for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He, too, goes through a great transformation to play the part of Rayon. His character is one of the catalysis that helps Ron not only with his business, but helps him grow as a person too. Ron is a full homophobic when we first meet him and by the end he views Rayon as one of his closest friends. Rayon, also goes through his own journey in the movie and his character has so many great lines, can almost always steal a scene and you just want to see more and more of his character.

There is a lot more to this movie than just the great performances. The fight Ron has with the FDA and local doctors is almost fascinating. The doctors of that time were receiving a lot of money for the trial patients they had to test the new medicines on and did not seem to care if those medications were working or not. You learn how many of the pharmaceutical companies were in bed with the FDA to help get their drugs approved and to more importantly, keep other drugs off the market. If the drugs that Ron Woodroof was selling was doing real harm to the people he was selling to then their crusade against him would be just. The only reason why they go after him is that he, and other buyer clubs that were popping up around the country at that time, is a threat to their business, forgetting that people should be coming first no matter what. Who is to say that has actually changed in the year 2013? “Dallas Buyers Club” is a must see movie. It is rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.