By Darlene Donloe
The performance of Matthew McConaughey in the drama, Dallas Buyers Club, is one that will linger in one’s memory.
It’s a hard movie to watch for many reasons. First, it’s a true story. Second, to watch the incredible transformation McConaughey makes as a man who has contracted the HIV virus, is nothing short of spectacular.
If McConaughey does not get an Oscar nod, something is rotten in Denmark.
In a stunning performance, McConaughey tells the true story of Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1985 and told he had only 30 days to live. AZT treatments made him violently ill, so he made his way to Mexico to seek out alternative methods. When he finds drugs that help, he starts smuggling them over the border and his "Dallas Buyers Club" is born.
Determined not to die because he’s having too much fun living, Woodroof went on to mesmerize the medical profession by living seven more years after he took his health into his own hands by combining a specific healthy dose of drugs.
He finally succumbed to complications from AIDS in September 1992.
A month before Woodroof’s death, screenwriter Craig Borten drove from Los Angeles to Dallas, Texas to meet him and begin work on telling Woodroof’s story for a movie that would ultimately take 20 years to get made, Dallas Buyers Club.
The movie takes an inside look at Woodroof’s life. He was a heterosexual who despised homosexuals. He was a druggie, a hard partier and a womanizer. And, after he was diagnosed, he became ostracized by his so-called friends.
In the hospital Woodroof, who makes a living as a rodeo rider and electrician, meets Rayon (Jared Leto), an HIV-infected transsexual. The two eventually partner to operate the buyers club. The progression of their relationship is slow and steady and has a pleasing payoff.
(l-r) Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey
Leto will surely get an Oscar nod. His portrayal of Rayon is inspiring, illuminating and heartrending.
McConaughey made a drastic weight loss, shedding nearly 40 pounds to play the real-life renegade drug supplier. The result is truly disturbing as McConaughey is a shell of himself.
The story pulls back the curtain on the FDA's real-life failings in dealing with HIV/AIDS.
This is a compelling story, one that will stay with you for a long time.
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) is Rated R (for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use). Running time: 1 hour, 57 minutes.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), Dallas Buyers Club gets an E (excellent).