The story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and his search for ... See full summary »
The story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and his search for alternative treatments that helped established a way in which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.
Dare to Live
Filming Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Box Office Details
Did You Know?
The movie went through various stages before finally being financed with the help of Matthew McConaughey. The first director/actor duo who tried to get the movie made were Brad Pitt and Marc Forster and also Ryan Gosling and Craig Gillespie. See more »
In the front lines of transforming your physical appearance for the
sake of the art, critics and audiences respond with gasps and
eye-bulging at the shocking "de-glamorization" of our beloved Hollywood
figures . Often times, it's used as a gimmick, lacking skill and talent
to match the transformation. Christian Bale received lots of press
leading up to and following his performance in Brad Anderson's "The
Machinst" nearly a decade ago. Nothing about him or the film reached an
epic proportion of legendary filmmaking or acting. Focus Features'
upcoming film, "Dallas Buyers Club" executes solid imagery and profound
performances that stands as one of the year's most ambitious efforts
thus far. You can't knock anyone for trying to go for it.
Looking at what Matthew McConaughey achieves with the direction of
Jean- Marc Vallée finally gives Hollywood and the rest of the world the
realization of what an actor can do if they push themselves for the
sake of the craft. It's not just a makeup trick, he embodies the soul
of a broken man, reaching for a new-found purpose and demonstrating the
human will to survive. McConaughey has hinted at this greatness for
years now. He was in the realm of conversation last year as the lovable
club owner in "Magic Mike" and impressed the lights out of many earlier
this year with "Mud" from Jeff Nichols. Playing Ron Woodroof, a
homophobic electrician that contracts HIV in the 1980's, the
43-year-old actor has tapped into an extraordinary and found humanity
within a character that is often times unlikeable but continue to root
Vallée's direction of the story is impressive. He takes artistic
liberties we haven't seen him attempt before and does a comparable job
at bringing the unfocused and at times, jumbled narrative to the
screen. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack pen the script from an honest
place. The "Inspired by true events" phrase that's plastered on the
film's poster should have allowed a more cohesive and finely tuned
story to be constructed. Their decisions on where to focus Woodroof's
life during his first year living with HIV didn't give the film a
thematic foundation to connect with. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to
be watching a socially political film that highlights the intolerance
of homosexuals in the 80's or a politically-motivated drama that
highlights the injustices that our own government takes on its people.
You can make the argument that it's a blend of the two, but the way the
events unfold and are represented don't necessarily ring authentic. If
anything, they paint a poorly constructed portrait of homosexuals and
victims of HIV and AIDS during a very difficult time in our nation
where anyone was looking for an outlet of longevity. We know lots about
the traumas and prejudices of our victims during the AIDS epidemic and
the battles they fought just to simply live. There's no other message
or values that the film presents that I haven't already heard in "And
the Band Played On" and "How to Survive a Plague."
DBC-02693-RAs aforementioned, the performances in the film rise above
any flaws that the script may slip into. McConaughey is the best I've
ever seen him. Simply a delight from head to toe, beginning to end.
What I haven't started to uncover is the revelation that is Jared Leto
as the lovable and AIDS-stricken Rayon. Leto, who has been away from
the game for some time as he focused on his music with his band "30
Seconds to Mars" showcases one of the year's finest turns and the best
he's ever delivered. Every time the talented Leto is on-screen, he
steals focus from everyone around him. He manages to illuminate the
pain and horror of the human spirit as it deals the inevitable notion
that fairly soon, you will die. You won't see a more devastating turn
or a greater example of masking the real emotions of the being this
year. A Supporting Actor contender has emerged.
DBC-00822-RThe beautiful and talented Jennifer Garner lays all she can
into her role of Dr. Eve Saks, a doctor overseeing more than illnesses
during the epidemic. While I will always remember her fondly in Jason
Reitman's "Juno" in 2007, she simply doesn't have enough to work with
to rally anything more than mere sympathy. Two co-stars, who are always
great to see as the expand the filmography, is Denis O'Hare and Steve
Zahn, both impeccable in their minimal roles.
As a whole, "Dallas Buyers Club" is competent filmmaking executed by
two outstanding performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Director of Photography Yves Bélanger is the best of the technical
merits of the film. Aesthetically capturing tender moments from the
side of a bed and the window of a car. Something that should be
considered when looking at the film for awards prospects. At the end of
the day, it's solid filmmaking. You can admire the attempt, but it
missed some opportunities. I think the Oscar race has just added two
solid contenders on its already growing list who are completely worthy
of holding statues on the night.