Based on a true story and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, Dallas Buyers Club follows Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) whose life is overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Set in 1985, these were the early days of the AIDS epidemic when the US was divided over how to combat the virus and subsequently. Shunned and ostracised by many of his old friends, Ron decides to take matters into his own hands, working around the system to help fellow AIDS patients to get the medication they need, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal.
Dallas Buyers Club is the kind of film you want to watch without knowing too much about its plot beforehand. On my first viewing, I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the cinema, only that the cast were picking up all the Oscar awards earlier this year. Learning early on that the film is a true story is about a man with HIV and only 30 days to live, you are immediately drawn in. And then Jared Leto‘s character comes in, and your mind continues to be blown.
Dallas Buyers Club is an inspiring story. It’s moving, in parts, and thought-provoking in the sense that generations today, shockingly, still know very little about the illness. It’s a real eye-opener, but it isn’t quite the powerful drama you might think that would lead to.
Moreso, it is the phenomenal performances that move you, as the Oscar awards have proven. Matthew McConaughey leads the film with an exceptional performance, really proving himself as a serious actor. But for me this was all about Jared Leto. Just thinking about his performance, all I can say is “Wow!” I think that Leto is a great musician so I’ve always enjoyed his supporting roles in films over the years, but it’s hard to compare those with this performance he gives here; I want to cry just thinking about it. The physical transformations that the two made on their own are astonishing, too, showing the sheer dedication that they put in.
Dallas Buyers Club is set to be released on DVD on 2nd June.