Dallas Buyers Club (2013) – Film Review

Dallas Buyers Club posterDallas Buyers Club

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Review written by Rachel Geiger

Although it’s a depressing film as a whole, it’s still worth watching. The acting in this combined with the unique story makes it an interesting watch.

Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is an electrician and rodeo cowboy from Texas (This is really a thing) who ends up getting HIV due to his history of unprotected sex and needle sharing with a prostitute. Woodroof is handed 30 days to live which he refuses to accept. So the rest of the film is about his experimentation with drugs that will help save his life and the interesting characters he meets along the way.

This film is loosely based on a true story which sort of helps explain the plot. In my opinion, the story is really unique and interesting from beginning to end. Although a lot of it didn’t really happen, it’s an extremely convincing tale and it’s also an inspirational one in a sense. I think they did a good job with adapting the true story onto the big screen.

The acting is honestly the main reason behind watching the movie. McConaughey lost a ton of weight for this role and the physical changes that his character endures throughout the course of this film are obvious and heartbreaking. McConaughey has played Southern characters before but never like this one. In his past roles, it felt as if he was just trying too hard, but this one was pretty natural and he was made for the role. He definitely deserved the Oscar that he won for this. Jared Leto also won an Oscar for his role as Rayon, a HIV positive trans-gender woman Woodroof befriends and starts up The Dallas Buyers Club with. The banter between the two is hilarious and shows just how much the two deserved awards for their convincing respective performances. I wasn’t a big fan of Jennifer Garner’s character. She played the sweet Doctor who tried to help Woodroof, but it felt a lot like every other role she’s already played. It just fell flat compared to the other two stars in the film.

Vallée did a good job with directing. He really was able to capture a lot of the emotion through some up close shots. Just the general way the film was shot really displayed the beauty and heart of this film. It was simplistic and the film was shot quickly, but it’s more about the story and I think the director did a nice job making this clear.

As a whole, the film is a good one due to the performances. Although the story is sad, it’s one that isn’t told too frequently which is why it’s good this film was as successful as it was. Stories like this need to be told and the actors did an amazing job at bringing this to life.

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