Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

By on November 26, 2013
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Run time: 117 min
Rating: 8.0
Genres: Biography | Drama | History
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writers: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Trivia: Hilary Swank was cast but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. See more »
Dallas 1985. Electrician and sometimes rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof lives hard, which includes heavy smoking, drinking, drug use (primarily cocaine) and casual sex. He is a stereotypical redneck: racist and homophobic. While in the hospital on a work related injury, the doctors discover and inform him that he is HIV+, and that he will most-likely die within thirty days. Ron is initially in angry denial that he would have a disease that only “faggots” have, but upon quick reflection comes to the realization that the diagnosis is probably true. He begins to read whatever research is available about the disease, which at this time seems to be most effectively treated by the drug AZT. AZT, however, is only in the clinical trials stage within the US. Incredulous that he, as a dying man, cannot pay for any drug which may save or at least prolong his life, goes searching for it by whatever means possible. It eventually leads him to Mexico and a “Dr.” Vass, an American physician whose … Written by Huggo
Plot Keywords: drugs, hiv, doctor, electrician, trial
Country: USA
Release Date: 12 December 2013 (Portugal)
Box Office
Budget: $5,500,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $260,865 (USA) (1 November 2013)
Gross: $6,374,058 (USA) (22 November 2013)

About vivolatino

Vivo Latino is the main author on this site with interest in entertainment, media, technology, fashion, and other news related events.


  1. crimsonflash

    November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Mathew Mc. obviously deserves a bit of a salute. His efforts to slim way down brings to mind, obviously, Christian Bale. Not bad company to be in!

    But the REAL STAR is Jared Leto. I know his other work and kept reminding myself that he/she was really a transvestite. And so sad to see the drug use (shh). And he/she was truly pretty. Of course, in real life, he's s a gorgeous guy. So,I hope the Academy will take note!

    Also interesting to hear of the Interferon drugs talked about. Now THAT'S something I know about. I have M.S. and inject myself once a week with it. It slows the progression of the disease Too bad the movie doesn't mention the other druga now available. Perhaps they weren't around then.

    I'm not a doctor, just more familiar with some of the drugs – would be great if I weren't!

  2. darthunderoos

    November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Since before the start of the new millennium until just after 2010, Matthew McConaughey's body of work was just that, a body that worked well on the screen for so many of the aimless, brainless onslaught of romantic/comedy disasters, in which he played the lead. In 1996, McConaughey played Jake Tyler Brigance in Joel Schumacher's A Time To Kill. Hailed as the best performance of his career, it seemed like, critically, that was the closest the actor would get to any praise.

    In 2011, McConaughey took the lead in Brad Furman's The Lincoln Lawyer, a by-the-number crime/mystery, where, McConaughey was able to flex some of his acting muscles as opposed to abdomen muscles. Since then, in what has been the most sudden and misunderstood acting turn in recent memory, McConaughey has reinvented his career and is continuing to be casted as a serious actor with serious acting skills.

    While the Texan acting inspiration has remolded his career in a time span that puts to shame that of Downey Jr. and Travolta, one of McConaughey's unflinching signature acting staples is his bold and proud Texan accent. And while I can't really imagine how a cowboy like himself was cast in Christopher Nolan's upcoming science fiction Interstellar, McConaughey and his accent were surely a match made in heaven for his role as the slowly weathering and dying HIV/AIDS patient Ron Woodruff.

    For Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey and his accent worked exceptionally well. Quebecois director Jean-Marc Vallee helms McConaughey as Ron Woodruff; a rugged, homophobic, ultra- macho, bull-riding, money throwing, playboy with no accord to anyone. Woodruff, a money hustling, chance taking electrician juggles his fortune, his luck, his women, and his job to make ends meet and live a somewhat fulfilling life. It isn't until an unexpected accident at work that leaves Woodruff hospitalized, giving him no choice but to make a difference in his life and the lives of many others.

    Upon learning of his recent HIV positive diagnostics and short thirty day life expectancy time span, Woodruff, reluctant to die, uses his hustling, smooth-talking, greasing ways to secure him a new, untested medicine to prolong the spread of HIV, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved AZT. After consuming an uncontrolled amount of AZT, the only legal drug that was available at the time in the United States, all the while, still abusing his substances, Woodruff has a close encounter with death. Coming to the morbid realization that the ATZ was depleting his longevity, he enlists the help of a disgraced doctor (Griffin Dunne) and together bring unapproved anti-viral treatments to the U.S illegally. What starts off as a simple economic money tapping market venture, Woodruff, along the way, comes to the realization that his efforts to help others, are actually working. Enlisting the help of fellow HID/AIDS victim Rayon (Jared Leto), the two start the Dallas Buyers Club, an alternative treatment centre for paying members that pits Woodruff in a gestating face-to-face with the FDA and other pharmaceutical companies. As the clientele grows thanks to Rayon's introduction to the biggest HIV/AIDS demographic, homosexuals, Woodruff has a revelation that not only changes his opinion of gays but also is a deep and dark look of sexual discrimination in the south of the U.S in the 1980′s.

    Dallas Buyers Club is a film dependent on the skills of its actors physical and mental performances. Aside from McConaughey's drastic forty pound weight loss, supporting actor Jared Leto dropped a hefty amount of weight to play the utterly convincing transsexual Rayon. Veering far away from Christian Bale comparisons in his eerie and grotesque turn as Trevor Reznik in Brad Anderson 2004′s indie The Machinist, the two leads in the Dallas Buyers Club abandon physical spectacle in exchange for allowing their on-screen presence to give a candid, historical accuracy of HIV/AIDS patients, and the brutal struggle they faced against a deadly and unforgiving epidemic in the United States in the 1980′s.

    Dallas Buyers Club is McConaughey's best role yet. Fierce, trashy and edifying, the actor substitutes humility for profanity, glamour for wretchedness, and the light-hearted for the heavy and unapologetic. Finally, McConaughey joins a club of actors that he should be proud to be a part of.

    Although the year's lead actor category is going to be a full one at this year's Academy Awards, the Supporting Actor category will have a clear winner. Unrecognizable, subtle and submerged into the role, their is no deny or ignoring the raw talent Leto brings to the role of Rayon. His previous efforts as a dedicated method actor, either gaining a large amount of weight or shedding weight with a wink of an eye, Leto's dedication to the craft is showcased in Dallas Buyers Club, and will surely be rewarded.

    Dallas Buyers Club is a morally, heavy-hitting drama with lasting effects. Dramatizing the social discrimination of gays in the South of the United States and the condition of many low-income, trailer-park living American residents, the film raises the questions whether or not AIDS/HIVS and other fatal diseases are fairly treated within government fine print and whether the main goal of such large and powerful companies is wealth, or health.

    Gritty, raw and compelling, Dallas Buyers Club is a powerfully dramatic based on a true story. Woodruff was a simple man, whose unfortunate condition brought forth an incredible man who's zest for life inspires others. Ron Woodruff definitely rode the bull in life; challenging the powerful FDA, pharmaceutical companies and notions that were instilled in his since birth. Thankfully for us, Vallee, McConaughey and Leto ride the film into a place in our hearts, in an overly sexualized, passionate display of what it's like to die "with your boots on"; dirty, gritty and with a fighting chance.

  3. jarvismethis

    November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Greetings again from the darkness. It's not unusual for an actor or actress to alter their physical appearance for a movie role. Sometimes those changes become the story: Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull and Christian Bale in The Machinist are two that come to mind. Regardless of the transformation or make-up, what really matters is the performance and the character. Just ask Eddie Murphy (Norbit) or Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal). In The Dallas Buyers Club, we actually get two incredible transformations that lead to two stunning performances.

    Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto each lost approximately 40 pounds for their respective roles as Ron Woodroof, the redneck, three-way loving, alcoholic, drug-addicted electrician/rodeo cowboy; and Rayon, the sensitive, street-savvy, would-be transsexual so desperate for a kind word. Their physical appearance will startle you more than once, but is quite effective in getting across the struggles of those infected with HIV virus in the 1980's. The numbers impacted exploded and the medical profession was ill-equipped to properly treat the patients.

    This is based on a true story and a real life guy (Woodroof) who became a most unlikely beacon of hope for AIDS patients. Woodroof fought the medical industry, Pharmaceutical companies and the government (FDA, DEA, IRS). It's impossible to miss the message and accusations that most of these had a single goal of increasing profits, rather than curing the disease. And that's where the story lags a bit. Michael O'Neill and Dennis O'Hare are the faces of greed and bureaucracy, while Jennifer Garner, Leto, and Griffin Dunne represent the side with a heart. Woodroof seems to be a guy who just doesn't want to die, sees a business opportunity, and even learns a little bit about humanity along the way.

    There have been numerous other projects that deal with AIDS, including: Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and the recent documentary How to Survive a Plague. This may be the first with a protagonist who is simply unlikeable, despite his passion and strong survival instincts. McConaughey doesn't shy away from the homophobic personality and cruel manner of speech that Woodroof possesses. We never doubt his frustration at those controlling the big picture, but we never really see him connect with those his brash tactics help.

    McConaughey is on a dream run as an actor right now, and it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see him garner an Oscar nomination. But it would be a mistake to chalk that up to his losing so much weight – he really delivers a character that we won't soon forget. And let's not overlook Mr. Leto, who has been away from acting for 4 years touring with his band. He is a remarkable talent and a true screen presence. Compare this role to his Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27. It's not just the range of weight, but moreso the range in acting that so impresses.

    Also worth noting here is the outstanding cinematography of Yves Belanger. This movie is shot in a way that brings out the intimacy of the moments, while not losing the big picture. Director Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) and co-writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack work together for a solid foundation, but it's McConaughey and Leto that we will most remember … and of course, the pics of the great Marc Bolan on the wall. http://www.MovieReviewsFromTheDark.wordpress.com

  4. darthunderoos

    November 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

    In the front lines of transforming your physical appearance for the sake of the art, critics and audiences respond with gasps and eye-bulging at the shocking "de-glamorization" of our beloved Hollywood figures . Often times, it's used as a gimmick, lacking skill and talent to match the transformation. Christian Bale received lots of press leading up to and following his performance in Brad Anderson's "The Machinst" nearly a decade ago. Nothing about him or the film reached an epic proportion of legendary filmmaking or acting. Focus Features' upcoming film, "Dallas Buyers Club" executes solid imagery and profound performances that stands as one of the year's most ambitious efforts thus far. You can't knock anyone for trying to go for it.

    Looking at what Matthew McConaughey achieves with the direction of Jean- Marc Vallée finally gives Hollywood and the rest of the world the realization of what an actor can do if they push themselves for the sake of the craft. It's not just a makeup trick, he embodies the soul of a broken man, reaching for a new-found purpose and demonstrating the human will to survive. McConaughey has hinted at this greatness for years now. He was in the realm of conversation last year as the lovable club owner in "Magic Mike" and impressed the lights out of many earlier this year with "Mud" from Jeff Nichols. Playing Ron Woodroof, a homophobic electrician that contracts HIV in the 1980's, the 43-year-old actor has tapped into an extraordinary and found humanity within a character that is often times unlikeable but continue to root for.

    Vallée's direction of the story is impressive. He takes artistic liberties we haven't seen him attempt before and does a comparable job at bringing the unfocused and at times, jumbled narrative to the screen. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack pen the script from an honest place. The "Inspired by true events" phrase that's plastered on the film's poster should have allowed a more cohesive and finely tuned story to be constructed. Their decisions on where to focus Woodroof's life during his first year living with HIV didn't give the film a thematic foundation to connect with. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be watching a socially political film that highlights the intolerance of homosexuals in the 80's or a politically-motivated drama that highlights the injustices that our own government takes on its people. You can make the argument that it's a blend of the two, but the way the events unfold and are represented don't necessarily ring authentic. If anything, they paint a poorly constructed portrait of homosexuals and victims of HIV and AIDS during a very difficult time in our nation where anyone was looking for an outlet of longevity. We know lots about the traumas and prejudices of our victims during the AIDS epidemic and the battles they fought just to simply live. There's no other message or values that the film presents that I haven't already heard in "And the Band Played On" and "How to Survive a Plague."

    DBC-02693-RAs aforementioned, the performances in the film rise above any flaws that the script may slip into. McConaughey is the best I've ever seen him. Simply a delight from head to toe, beginning to end. What I haven't started to uncover is the revelation that is Jared Leto as the lovable and AIDS-stricken Rayon. Leto, who has been away from the game for some time as he focused on his music with his band "30 Seconds to Mars" showcases one of the year's finest turns and the best he's ever delivered. Every time the talented Leto is on-screen, he steals focus from everyone around him. He manages to illuminate the pain and horror of the human spirit as it deals the inevitable notion that fairly soon, you will die. You won't see a more devastating turn or a greater example of masking the real emotions of the being this year. A Supporting Actor contender has emerged.

    DBC-00822-RThe beautiful and talented Jennifer Garner lays all she can into her role of Dr. Eve Saks, a doctor overseeing more than illnesses during the epidemic. While I will always remember her fondly in Jason Reitman's "Juno" in 2007, she simply doesn't have enough to work with to rally anything more than mere sympathy. Two co-stars, who are always great to see as the expand the filmography, is Denis O'Hare and Steve Zahn, both impeccable in their minimal roles.

    As a whole, "Dallas Buyers Club" is competent filmmaking executed by two outstanding performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Director of Photography Yves Bélanger is the best of the technical merits of the film. Aesthetically capturing tender moments from the side of a bed and the window of a car. Something that should be considered when looking at the film for awards prospects. At the end of the day, it's solid filmmaking. You can admire the attempt, but it missed some opportunities. I think the Oscar race has just added two solid contenders on its already growing list who are completely worthy of holding statues on the night.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply