It is 1985 and AIDS is making news the world over. At this time, there was very little understanding of the disease and those inflicted with the HIV virus were treated as outcasts out of simple ignorance. The medical community was at a loss to provide any real answers and the average person was being fed different information almost weekly. They were terrible, dark days. But the big pharmaceutical companies were already rubbing their hands together in glee….. because fatal disease = money for these greedy corporations.
Ron Woodruff (McConaughey) is a good ole boy from Dallas, Texas. He is also a womanising, homophobic, cocaine snorting, part-time bull riding, con man who is well-known to authorities. This guy is basically an absolute wanker. Injured one day at his workplace, he is taken to hospital where he is diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live.
Of course, this news does not sit to well with Woodruff. Neither does the news that there is little real medication for HIV/AIDS patients…. it’s all tied up in red tape and FDA approval hell. But all the medications he and other sufferers need is available just over the border in Mexico. Woodruff heads down to Mexico and loads up on drugs but has great difficulty selling it once back in Dallas.
During one of his many hospital stays, Woodruff meets the feisty and spirited transsexual Rayon (Leto) who is also HIV positive. She agrees to help sell the medication…..for a hefty cut of course. As it is illegal to sell the medication, they start the Dallas Buyers Club whereby the medication is free but membership for the club is $400 per month.
It is clever and highly effective and before long they have queues a mile long outside their door and the authorities and medical community are desperate to shut them down for good.
During all this, Ron meets and forms a relationship of sorts with his doctor Eve (Garner). While she is understanding of their plight and just as frustrated by the red tape and waiting periods for FDA approval of the drugs, she is bound by her code of honour and does not help Ron in his business venture. It is a fleeting yet tangible pseudo-romance.
This is the 80’s and in the 80’s those with AIDS died, so this story does not end well. But it is not about the outcome, it’s about the journey. It’s Ron’s journey from absolute ignorance and self-indulgence to a selfless man who opens his heart and mind in ways, a year earlier, he could not have even imagined.
Everything you hear about this movie, the hype, the accolades, the award nominations….all are well deserved. And Matt Mc Conaughey….well, well, well.
I always knew he had it in him, I really did. Nobody does good ole Southern boy quite like Matt. But what I didn’t realise was that he had this in him…. this performance is so magnificent, I can hardly believe the last movie I watched him in was the fluff piece if garbage Surfer Dude. He flexed his muscle in The Lincoln Lawyer and reminded us he could act, but this…..amazing. He deserves the Oscar and if he doesn’t get it, it will be a true travesty.
So of course, you should get your butts into town (it’s at the Tower Cinema) and see this before it finished its local run. This really is one of those movies you simply must see….
Love Flick xx
Director : Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring : Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O’Neill, Dallas Roberts, Deneen Tyler
Running Time : 117 minutes
Release Date : 13 February, 2014