Dallas Buyers Club

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée, Main Cast: Matthew McConaugheyJennifer GarnerJared LetoDenis O’HareSteve Zahn;

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Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is a “booze, sex, drugs and rodeo” kind of guy, he is full of swagger and not really what you would call a nice person. One day he ends up in a hospital, after collapsing, and the doctors (O’Hare and Garner) inform him that he has AIDS and only 30 days left to live. It is 1986 and that type of diagnose doesn’t imply only a fatal prognosis but also social stigma. Ron’s co-workers and friends ostracize him and he’s forced to leave his job and his house. We follow his struggle for survival by any means, legal or illegal (mostly the latter though) and his desperate attempts at finding an effective treatment among the different experimental medicines. Along the way Ron will meet a lot of people: most of them struggling with his very same problem (survive an incurable disease), some who genuinely want to help and others who are from blatantly callous to just be blind cogs of the establishment-machine (health system and FDA). The most important and life changing meeting for Ron happens early on at the hospital with Rayon (Leto, a well deserved oscar!), a transgender who has AIDS as well. The duo starts the titular club recruiting members among AIDS  patients, who pay a monthly fee to get medicines that Ron imports illegally (being not FDA approved). We witness Ron’s struggle between his more greedy nature and a growing, genuine sentiment of empathy and kindness, mostly due to the positive influence of Rayon. The film is well-written and has a good pace although the whole storyline with Garner’s character is a little cliched and juxtapose to give a caring face to the health system, opposite to O’Hare’s doctor who is unsympathetic and slave to the system. The best for me wasn’t the much celebrated transformation and acting of McConaughey but Leto’s Rayon. His character was apparently meant to bring some lightness and comic relief moments in a dramatic story however, with his subtle acting, Leto gives the most heart-wrenching interpretation of the film and delivers the most powerful scenes. Captivating —8/10

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