DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, 2013
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Review by Matthew Toffolo
The story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986.
What I Loved About this Film
Pretty much everything as I might have saved the best for last in watching the 2013 Oscar Nominated films for best picture. Dallas Buyers Club is definitely one of the best films of the year.
The story of survival and learning through that journey. How you will do whatever it takes to keep on living.
What makes this film so great besides the subject and performances is the the pace of this film. This is a performance and character driven film that's tone and pace is driven by the plot. What I mean by that is that the plot is the most important element of this film. The performances are so amazing but every single scene is there to push the plot forward. Many directors would have stopped the plot and given us a scene between the two main characters where they are sitting in bed comteplating life or meaning etc.... Some big speech to please themselves. There is none of that. The film keeps moving at a brisk pace to tell its journey. And that is why this is a great film.
The irony is because of that the two leads, played exceptionally by McConaughey and Leto, probably will wins Oscars for their performances. Leto is a lock to win the best supporting actor, and McConaughey is about 50/50 to win best actor. McConaughey is not the same actor who was the star of such films like The Wedding Planner, or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. He's lost his lightweight image and now is a great actor.
Serve the story and everything else will come together. That's what you can definitely learn from this film.
What I Didn't Like About this Film
It has nothing to do with the actual film as this is a brilliant piece of work. It's just that we still haven't learned anything yet. Government agencies like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are still serving the corporations need as the little guy keeps on losing out. Things are never that black and white but what we have learned from this story that is set in the AIDS era between 1985 to 1992 is that we never learned from our mistakes. And this is a sad state of affairs.
I'm a fan of awards like the Oscars or Golden Globes because films like this get seen more from your average audience member. After the Oscar nominations were announced the cinema where WILDsound holds its festival every month had lineups a mile long of people wanting to see this film and the other Oscar nominations. My first attempt at watching Dallas Buyers Club failed because the film was sold out by the time I got to the front of the line. And the film had been out for over 4 weeks. That is a true testament of why award shows (which are pretty lame) are still needed today.