In what is bound to be one of the more random films I have ever seen in the theatre, last night I took in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ featuring recent Golden Globe award winners Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. While at times a tougher watch than most films I have seen, this film was well worth going outside of my norm to see.
With today’s announcement of the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ was one of the big winners, pulling down a total of six awards including Best Actor for McConaughey, Best Supporting Actor for Leto along with Best Writing for an Original Screenplay, along with the big one, Best Picture. Quite the haul for a smaller film.
The key thing for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is not in how it portrays the AIDS fear of the mid-1980’s or the rejection that came with the extreme homophobia in Texas at that time, but in the fact that this is an accurate portrayal of these same feelings throughout most of conservative America today. Because of that mentality, this is a perfect time for this film to be released and is the main reason for its success with both critics and The Academy.
I will say that this film is all McConaughey. While Leto is receiving tons of praise for his role as a transgender AIDS victim, this film would be nothing without the stellar performance put forth by McConaughey as straight, homophobic man afflicted with AIDS and how his dream of a treatment for the virus changed his views on the world.
While McConaughey’s role is the true eye catcher of ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, I will say that I was not really a big fan of Leto’s, and for no other reason than that they did not push any boundaries with how the role was filmed. Leto is basically playing a gay rock star in drag, and I found the performance to actually be very flat and not a stand out.
In the end, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is a very good movie, and well deserving of its Best Picture nomination, but it also could have been an even more riveting film that feels like it left some things on the table to avoid any controversy and pushing of boundaries.
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