When Ron Woodroof is diagnosed with AIDS, he is unable to obtain the medication required to keep him healthy, due to FDA approval issues, so he takes it upon himself to seek out his own medication. In doing so he identifies the need for medication not just for himself but for fellow AIDS sufferers in the Dallas area. The knock on effect of Woodroof’s actions are very unhappy pharmaceutical companies and a clamp down by government agencies seeking to stop the illegal importing of unapproved medication. On the upside he is able to provide AIDS sufferers with real hope in their fight against the disease as well as fighting his own demons.
Matthew McConaughey has managed to do it again with an unbelievable performance as the AIDS sufferer Ron Woodroof. Woodroof is a rodeo cowboy from a culture that is both deeply bigoted and homophobic and it is a testament to McConaughey’s performance that he can bring so much humanity to such a shameful character as he accepts his position and strives to better life for himself and others. One scene in which suicide is considered the best option by Woodroof is unbelievably heartbreaking and shows us just how far McConaughey has come as an actor. The one you really won’t see coming though is Jared Leto in the role of cross dresser Rayon. The fact that this is the first movie that Leto has done in a number of years would indicate that he should stop hanging out with his highly overrated rock band and get back into something he’s actually good at. The support cast of Steve Zahn and Jennifer Garner are more than capable of filling in the gaps with Garner in particular delivering a steady performance as Dr. Eve Sacks.
It’s not just the performances that make this movie so complete though, as it also features some lovely camera work and direction. The scene in which Woodroof almost commits suicide is particularly well put together featuring a fantastic moment that fades away to leave you only hearing McConaughey’s wail of absolute despair. There is also no escaping the constant feeling that the walls are closing in on Ron and Rayon as they try to survive as long as possible and when the inevitable does occur it is devastating.
Featuring two of the best performances you could possibly hope for and drawing you deep inside its beautiful and dark heart Dallas Buyers Club is a brilliant piece of film making. Not to be missed.