Film Review – Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Title: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Director: Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria)

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Denis O’Hare, Kevin Rankin, Griffin Dunne

Plot: Based on the true story of Texan native, womaniser and party focused Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) who when diagnosed as being HIV positive and given a mere 30 days to live by doctors including Dr. Eve Saks (Garner) sets out to treat himself and consequently others with drugs not yet approved for sale in the United States.

“A little tequila, sunshine and tacos never hurt anybody”

Review by Eddie on 20/02/2014

Do not be at all surprised if come the film industry’s night of nights in March this year you see a one Matthew McConaughey step up on stage and collect his just deserves for a performance that needs to be seen to be belived both in a transformation sense (the man is barely recognisablle after losing 21kgs for the role) and in an inhabiting sense, for in a year where male performances had many peaks former “Surfer Dude” McConaughey can proudly sit above the rest with perhaps only Chiwetel Ejiofor able to challenge the man.

The career trajectory of McConaughey over the last few years has been a joy to behold. Seemingly happy at stages to revieve paycheck after paycheck for dull easy cash in’s like Failure to Launch or Fools Gold McConaughey over the last few years has been delivering knock out after knock out with such roles in films like Killer Joe, Mud (a performance from last year that remains severly underrated), Magic Mike, The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, The Wolf of Wall Street and this years stunning looking Interstellar all hearkening a rare purple patch that has culminted in this performance as Ron Woodroof that will be hard to top as the role of his lifetime. McConaughey’s role here is the reason to see the film and he is very well supported by 30 Second to Mars front man Jared Leto as cross dressing hard knock case Rayon a role in which to could be delivering a gold statue to the actor.

With such showstopping lead performances the other areas of Dallas Buyers Club do feel like a lesser success with the storyline and journey of a man who defied the government, doctors and his own beliefs not really packing the punch it could of with such a multilayered arc. Jumps in time through the film feel unnatural and the direction of artistic specialist Valle not being in anyway a standout which is a surprise considering some of the locales that the film pays a visit to. Another downfall of the film is in the supporting cast who with McConaughey and Leto leading a charge fall far behind the pack with this evident in particular with Jennifer Garner in a underwritten and slight role as the good doctor.

Dallas Buyers Club is a must see movie thanks to the once in a blue moon transformation of an actor with what is evidenced by McConaughey. The movie features him in almost every scene and when the film is held up against the man who truely is Ron Woodroof the film pales in comparison, getting 6 Oscar nominations is therefore a little much for a film made around acting. If Dallas Buyers Club was half the movie of it’s leading man it would be a new American classic but as it stands it still remains impressive, compulsive viewing thanks to its acting members.

4 cowboy hats out of 5

19 responses to “Film Review – Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

    • Hey mate, cheers. Yeh for sure I thought Mud was overall a much finer picture. Dallas without the stand out performances from the leads would be a passable 3 star type movie.

  1. Solid work again Eddie, I really have to agree with your final thoughts. McConaughey and Leto give such staggering performances that others really do get overshadowed. Jennifer Garner was OK here, nothing more and nothing less. She was edged out fairly effectively by the central two roles

    • Cheers Tom. I have a feeling both Leto and McConaughey are in for some gold statues on the weekend. I can’t help but shake the film was slightly over rewarded with Oscar noms though.

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  4. Matthew McConaughey has been impressing me so much as of late. McConaughey and Leto’s performances really made this film enjoyable. Without them, I wouldn’t have been half as interested. Speaking of McConaughey, he’s in a TV show called True Detective which is an anthology. You should definitely check it out because I think it’s McConaughey’s best performance yet.

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