Saturday, February 8, 2014

2013 Awards Circuit: Dallas Buyers Club Review

2013 Awards Circuit

Dallas Buyers Club Review
The 2013 Awards Circuit will be a collection of reviews of films that are in some kind of award running within the months of January through March. Not only will this prepare me for the big night (AKA Oscar Night), but it will also allow me to catch up with some of the critically acclaimed films I missed in 2013. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy watching and writing them.

"Dallas Buyers Club" is a movie that feels like an experience. I have always related to many films as experiences, but this film really "feels" like one. Nearly every actor in the film disappears into their role. The direction of the film nuzzles your nose into a world of drugs, illness, sweat, beer, and sex of all kinds. Despite what I have said, "Dallas Buyers Club" is not a dirty movie or something that will be considered taboo in a few years. It creates an intelligent thought on a very real issue, its a very human story about individuals who were real. This is all my way of saying is that if you give yourself to "Dallas Buyers Club," you maybe surprised by what you get out of it.

"Dallas Buyers Club" tells the true story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician and rodeo cowboy who has a  glaring hatred for homosexuals and a lifestyle full of the worst kind of vice. He regularly has unprotected sex, he regularly snorts cocaine and he's always drinking. He eventually learns that he is HIV positive and does everything he can to get his hands on AZT, a drug in the test stage to help with HIV. The AZT makes him feel much worse, so he illegally travels to Mexico and receives an alternative treatment. The alternative treatment improves his health, but the treatment is outlawed in the U.S. Ron and some colleagues he meets at his hosiptal decide to go into the business of selling HIV-positive people with this illegal drug Mexico. 

The movie is driven by Matthew McConaughey. I have said it before, but I don't know what woke McConaughey up, but I like his dramatic career change. I hope we continue to see this in his career, because its really working. In fact, lots of actors that I haven't cared for in the past come alive in this movie. I enjoyed Jennifer Garner's work as Dr. Saks, a doctor who eventually agrees to help Ron with his illegal crusade. I was also quite fond of Steve Zahn who plays a cop friend to Ron. This is the best acting I have ever seen from these actors, and they make us buy into the story and emotion of the entire production.

But, I can't discuss great performances without mentioning Jared Leto. Despite being a fan of 30 Seconds To Mars, I have very much missed the acting by Leto. What a way to get back into show business. Leto portrays Rayon, a transgender woman who becomes Ron's right-hand woman in his illegal drug selling. What can I say about Leto's work here that will do him justice? His role is a tour-de-force, its by far the best acting he's ever done and its a milestone performance of 2013. I will be absolutely befuddled if he doesn't get himself a golden statue for his work here. Leto has never unleashed so much soul and pride in his work before. If you need one reason to see this movie, see it for Jared Leto.

The cast really transforms into something we don't recognize, and that's the gravy to this film. The film pierces deep inside your heart and reveals something fascinatingly sincere. 

FINAL GRADE: A-

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