THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB: THE REVIEW

I cannot wait to see this and am disappointed I could not attend the press screening. All hail Salty Kernel, Alistair Shields, for attending this amazing looking film that could see a few Oscars flowing its way. The Best Male Actor this year is a big three way fight between Leonardo (my choice) DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and for this amazing performance by Matthew McConaughey, who is deciding to get serious the last couple of years after, no doubt realising, he could actually be a great actor. THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is out on FEB 13th in Australia, is rated MA15+ and runs for 117mins. Enjoy Alistair’s review below.

 

The Dallas Buyers Club, Review, Trailer, Matthew McConaughy, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Alistair Shields
The Dallas Buyers Club Movie Poster – Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto

 

Survival. That is the story told in the Academy Award nominated picture Dallas Buyers Club. It is the story of survival for one quick talking, straight shooting, strong willed cowboy who through his journey helps prolong and save the lives of more than just himself. Dallas Buyers Club is a powerful film with incredible Academy Award nominated performances by both Jared Leto (Requiem for a Dream) who plays the transsexual, gay business partner to Mathew McConaughey’s (Mud) Ron Woodroff.

The film tells the story of Texas cowboy Ron Woodrof and his passion for life once he has been diagnosed by the debilitating disease that is HIV/AIDS and then given 30 days to live. Forsaken by his “faggot” hating, bigoted friends, Ron is thrown to the curb and forgotten but rather than accept the fate he has been given Ron would rather “die with his boots on” and finds a new lease on life.

 

The Dallas Buyers Club, Review, Trailer, Matthew McConaughy, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Alistair Shields
The Dallas Buyers Club – Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto

 

He educates himself, he learns and he becomes obsessed with treatments that may help him survive that little bit longer. The problem though is that the majority of treatments aren’t legal and/or approved within the U.S. which results in Ron crossing the globe to find and acquire the drugs.

In the process Ron, originally, sees this as way to make profitable business resulting in the Dallas Buyers Club in which one purchases a monthly membership and then gets access to the alternate drugs. While trying to sell these drugs Ron enlists the aid of Rayon (Jared Leto) who gives him access to the community he had so venomously shunned previously. Together these two partner together and face off against the IRS, FDA and police forces.

 

The Dallas Buyers Club, Review, Trailer, Matthew McConaughy, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Alistair Shields
The Dallas Buyers Club – Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto

 

The story of Ron Woodroff and the Dallas Buyers club is so uplifting, harsh and perfect for the screen it is hard to believe it is based on truth. The strength of the film rests upon the back of McConaughey and Leto who both give career defining performances. There is no McConaughey, only Rob. The same can be said for Leto who lived and breathed Rayon both on and off the screen. Both characters underwent massive physical changes to perform their respective roles, having to drop multiple kilos, making the actors unrecognisable from their usual appearances, particularly McConaughey. In Leto, so feminine was his performance that when he wore male clothing I was momentarily bewildered thinking “why is she wearing male clothes?” I couldn’t have higher praise for his role as Rayon and the relationship that these two create. The relationship is so real and unexpected that in one scene where they engage in the briefest of hugs it is enough to deeply move you.

 

The Dallas Buyers Club, Review, Trailer, Matthew McConaughy, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Alistair Shields
The Dallas Buyers Club – Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto

 

Jennifer Garner (Juno) plays the love interest as Dr. Eve Saks and provides some form of stability in the whirlwind that is Leto and McConaughey which in itself is impressive. Her role was one of honesty and caring which she seemed to effortlessly play as remarked upon by McConaughey himself.

This realness was obviously a huge point of focus for director Jean-Marc Vallee as Dallas Buyers Club holds nothing back in showing sexual acts, drug use and strong language to give the full harshness and reality of the life that these people lived. The actors, as said, shed multiple kilos to make themselves look really sick. Even artificial lighting was thrown out for this film so what you see on screen is what you get. Furthermore, while shooting any scene all unnecessary equipment and personnel were removed from the room or put around the corner out of sight so it was only the moment, the scene. Of course there is make-up used and costumes designed but Valle attempted to make this film as real as was possible.  An effort which shows in the films.

 

The Dallas Buyers Club, Review, Trailer, Matthew McConaughy, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, Jean-Marc Vallee, Alistair Shields
The Dallas Buyers Club – Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto

 

While Dallas Buyers Club is a film that was built upon the performances of McConaughey and Leto the script is strong and the supporting cast more than up to the task of keeping pace with both leads and the script. The story itself is poignant, heartfelt and more importantly true which gives the whole film far greater meaning. The majority of cast and head crew had an invested interest in the film and the problem of HIV/AIDS which made them care and put their best efforts forward.

A worthy nomination for Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards. A lead contender for winner.

 

KERNEL ALISTAIR’S POP SCORE: 

4 Pops

JK’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE: 

4 and a Half Pops

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

KERNEL DARA’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

KERNEL ADAM’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

KERNEL CLAIRE’S POP SCORE:

5 Pops