Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée


No film featuring Marc Bolan’s “Life Is Strange” can be called a bad film, but Jared Leto. Matthew McConaughey’s heroics cannot be underestimated either, but Jared fucking Leto. Talentless wimp, cute Angel Face biding time in acting business? No, that’s not him anymore, and the question is where exactly did that come from?

Dallas Buyers Club is a very grim film, you have to be prepared for that. Even at the very beginning, when Ron Woodroof still doesn’t know he has AIDS and 30 days to live – the film seems too heavy to handle. Casual sex, muddy rodeo, cocaine, Dallas Buyers Club looks dark even before the real darkness sets in.

Oddly, it gets better. Woodroof (stylish and depressing performance by McConaughey, who of course had to drop 23 kilos to play the role (that’s your fully used checked-in baggage next time you fly, by the way); Leto dropped 14, which is quite remarkable in his case), an electrician and a homophobe leading a hedonistic lifestyle, has fantastically droll sense of humour that brings a certain amount of relief to the proceedings. Nothing too bright, of course, but what would you expect from a film with this subject matter?

The film is based on real events that happened between 1985 and 1992, when little was known about AIDS and even less about drugs that could help. “Dallas Buyers Club” was set up by Woodroof to sell drugs (illegal according to the FDA) he smuggled into Texas. The queues are endless, people are desperate, with unlikely business partners Woodroof and Rayon (Leto), both HIV-positive, at the centre of love, hate and controversy. 

McConaughey’s performance is deserving of an Oscar, no question about it, but watch Jared Leto play a transgender woman (Woodroof hates faggots, remember) with such warmth and conviction that you might accidentally think those 30 Second to Mars records had some value after all (no). Besides, Rayon is a fan of Marc Bolan. There’s a scene in which McConaughey’s character tears Bolan’s posters off the wall believing that is actually Boy George. That’s a terrific scene, and it helps make the heavy and devastating Dallas Buyers Club so memorable and enjoyable. It’s a film that stays with you, and times being what they are – what could possibly be a bigger compliment?..

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