Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)- Review by Sean Wu

The moment the screen faded to black and the little title cards finished, a word popped into my mind. It started with the prefix trans.

Transsexual? There are characters like that in the film. Transportation? The lead man Ron Woodruff, played by Matthew McConaughey does transport himself worldwide. Transformative? That's the word. Why?

The word transformative applies to the work that both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto do in the film. The hype for the film began last year, when both underwent astounding weight losses to participate in the film. Was it worth it? For a shot at a little gold man come March? You betcha.

The film follows McConaughey as a true-to-life dirty Texan electrician that finds himself infected with HIV in the early days of the virus. When given thirty days to live, Woodruff attempts to save his skin by taking non-FDA approved drugs, and ends up saving the skin of other AIDS patients by starting a distribution company called, you guessed it, the Dallas Buyers Club.

It sounds like total Oscar bait, and in a way, it is. However, there is a grit to the storytelling and unabashed confidence by director Jean-Marc Valee that distinguishes itself from stuff on the fish hooks. The film is more interested in telling a story to please the audience instead of pleasing the Academy. There is sex, there are drugs, but there is also a heart.

The screenplay is strong here too. Dialogue here feels down to earth, but is witty enough to make it cinematic and interesting. The story is interesting enough, if not a slight bit redundant in style and themes. There were moments in the middle that made the process and the goings of the Club seem repetitive, uninteresting, and a slight bit butt numbing. A stone on the road, but overall not too much of a problem.

With December bringing out The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, and Inside Llewyn Davis, time's a slippin' to catch this flick. Don't be that guy that misses it, because you just might see either Leto or McConaughey on that podium thanking their mums and dads.

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