7:30 PM, 15th May, 2014
Matthew McConaughey continues his long-deserved career renaissance in this tale of a rather shady bloke who finds himself infected with AIDS in the 1980s and forms a discrete partnership with other sufferers to import unapproved medication from Mexico to combat their illness.
Given 30 days to live, coke-head Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) hears about the clinical trial of a medication called AZT from his doctor (Garner). After a cash-under-the-table transaction with a hospital worker Ron tries the drug, but his health worsens and he is forced to head for the border to try and score some more. When he gets there he discovers the existence of alternatives that are not yet approved for human consumption in the US. Drugs that seem to work well. Drugs that he can see a black market for. A black market that he’ll need if he’s to pay the increasing cost of keeping himself alive. Reluctantly teaming up with a transgender sufferer named Rayon (a nearly unrecognisable Leto, although that seems to be his stock in trade nowadays), the pair form a network they dub the Dallas Buyers Club.
As marvellous as shirtless Matt’s Golden Globe-winning performance is, the real show-stealer is emo-wunderkind Jared Leto, whose bizarrely dedicated performance netted him the Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his troubles (and they must have been troubles). French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée does well to rope in what could have been either depressing or outright outrageous performances to something surprisingly relatable, and find a surprisingly amiable drama in what seems on the surface to be a depressing tale.