Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
“I’ve been looking for you, lone star.” ~ Rayon
First and foremost, I just have to say, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto deliver performances of a lifetime in this film, and though I am not a believer in the “award system“, they deserve all of them, not just for the physicality of the film, but the emotional transformation that goes on in this film, and the way that both of them completely inhabit their characters. There are other great performances in the film, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare and Griffin Dunne, to name a few, but this film belongs to McConaughey and Leto – phenomenal does not even begin to describe both of them.
The story is one that hits a chord with me, partially from the time period it represents, partially from those I lost to the disease in the late 90’s, and also because I am am a fan of the reluctant hero story, the everyday person who makes a difference, who fights the system, and who is not a saint, at the same time. Flawed people doing extraordinary things, those are some of my favorite stories.
I lost myself in this story, in the same way I feel that McConaughey and Leto lost themselves in their characters. I felt beyond moved, I fell for these characters, loved them, rooted for them, shed tears for them, and felt inspired by their stories, as well. I loved the lack of emotional manipulation in the characters, that they had humor and bad habits and ugly sides, as well as beautiful parts of heart and humanity, yet never once were pleading for pity. Ron Woodroof’s story was one hell of a story, and Leto and McConaughey, they really should win all the awards.
“Oh, I’m the drug dealer? No, you’re the fuckin’ drug dealer. I mean, goddamn, people are dyin’. And y’all are up there afraid that we’re gonna find an alternative without you.” ~ Ron