Dallas Buyers Club is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, a purebred blue collar Texan who contracts the HIV virus in the mid 80s. Fighting against our own notions about what caused the disease (this was pre-Magic) and more importantly, the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry who controlled which drugs were legal in this country, Woodruff became something of a one man crusade as he fought for his own life (while figuring out some loopholes to make money along the way).
The film stars Matthew McConaughey in one of those roles that I can’t imagine anyone else playing. The Southern drawl and the machismo and the sense of humor beneath it all; this definitely feels like one of those projects that was better off for being in development for awhile before it fell into the right hands. In a supporting role that I also think will be in the mix as we get into awards season, Jared Leto plays ‘Rayon’, the tortured soul who gives Woodruff the ‘access’ he needs to the clientele who will buy his ‘product’ in droves.
I knew and respected that both of these guys could act, but this is a high point for both of them and as a result the film as a whole is better for it. Jared in particular deserves props for taking a part that could have been very ‘one-note’ in how it was portrayed, and giving it some depth.
I’m sure I’m biased some here since I gravitate toward films that give actors challenges they might not be able to pull off, but when it works, you get films like this. Check it out if you get a chance.