There was a long rich period when bold films were made that didn’t rely on superficial tactics to pull at your heart strings or revolve around obvious characters that had false likability. Dallas Buyers Club rekindles that spirit through the conviction of unfiltered storytelling, focused direction and two unbelievably great acting performances.

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Ron Woodroof portrayed with remarkable dedication by Matthew McConaughey is self absorbed and wears his flaws like a badge of honor. His reckless and carefree lifestyle leads him down the inevitable path of contracting the H.I.V. virus and his own denial allows him to continue the road of excess until his body has enough and delivers the ugly truth. There’s word of a helpful drug called AZT that Ron is forced to acquire on his own tat ends up being a selfish scheme from the FDA that actually makes him even more sick. As self-preservation kicks in, he decides to take a chance down in Mexico with an unlicensed doctor (Griffin Dunne) that actually ends up being his salvation in more way than one. There’s potential in this alternative medicine to turn profit in the states with other patients and Woodroof could never pass up such an opportunity. He meets his business partner in crime through Rayon who’s played by Jared Leto in a performance that’s equally brilliant and unrecognizable. Their natural yet unbalanced chemistry is unquestionable and never feels patronizing.

This film could have easily came out in the period these events take place and it’s unconventional approach is refreshingly appropriate. Rayon has tragic layers that are spontaneous and never come across as anything but genuine. Persistence never fades when Woodroof is alienated and ridiculed, he gains our sympathies but we still see his flaws. Gritty films that are honestly reflective are a rare breed these days but this film reminds me that they still get made from time to time.

The Author

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan is a freelance film journalist and is the founder of Movie Time And Beyond. His passion for movies and pop culture knows no limits.

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