Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Every year I make a point of seeing all the up for awards season movies; some years I'm more successful than others. Still haven't seen a few flicks that I'd like to fit in before the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 12th (be sure to follow Tinsel & Tine on facebook, twitter or pinterest to enjoy the red carpet and telecast with me!). One movie I saw kinda late in the game is Dallas Buyers Club.
Going in I knew Matthew McConaughey lost 50lbs to play the role and that it dealt with AIDS, but other than that, knew little else, which I find is the best way to approach any movie. Of course most times you can't help but see the trailers, read a blog ;) or catch an interview on one of the late night talk shows, but when I go in without preconceived opinion, it's so much more satisfying.
Dallas Buyers Club is set in the 80's, based on a true story of a hard living, homophobic, Texas rodeo rider/electrician Ron Woodruff (McConaughey) who gets admitted to the hospital for an electric shock, but gets a bigger shock when the doctor informs him he's got advanced AIDS and 30 days left to live. Ron's reaction is the same as most people, denial. He continues his drinking, drugging, hanging out, with one exception, he doesn't have sex with the two bimbos he invites over to his place; instead he just watches, which you realize is his way of kinda accepting the truth of his diagnoses.
I know I hate to see the 30th loom up on the calendar, because it's time to pay rent and a host of other misc and sundry bills, but can you imagine looking at the calendar in terms of the end of your time here on earth? Of course, at least debt would be the last thing on your mind at that point. I'd expect somebody like Ron Woodruff, a rather sordid kinda guy, to just let the illness or his destructive life choices, whichever got to him first, just take him out; and he does contemplate suicide, but then he decides to fight. You see Woodruff at the library doing AIDS treatment research; he's got a little cash set aside, so he bribes a hospital worker to get him the latest clinical AIDS trial drug; when that goes south, he goes south of the border to Mexico to look for drugs there.
He winds up at a clinic where a medical man who lost his right to practice in the states, sets him on a path of protein and vitamins and other more natural, but not FDA approved or tested methods of boosting the immune system. Before you know it, staying alive is only part of Woodruff's agenda, the bigger part becomes making serious profit from selling these treatments in Texas and thus begins The Dallas Buyers Club.
McConaughey really embraces this anti-hero, he's hilarious! For a movie about dying and AIDS there's a lot of room for situation humor and this character's approach to life is so... well, do or die. Not unlike Jordan Beltfort in The Wolf of Wall Street or American Hustle's Irvin Rosenfeld (click for T&T posts).
However, the best part of the movie is not based on Woodruff's actual story - brilliantly, writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack created the character of cross dressing, AIDS patient Rayon (Jared Leto). Seeing Woodruff, this majorly homophobic, Texas cowboy, become best friends and business partners with "Miss Mann" as he first calls Rayon, is totally the heart and soul of the movie. So glad both men have been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Around the WebDallas Buyers Club Director Jean-Marc Vallée - "I'm from the ‘less is more' school, I had to be in the ‘more is more' zone with Dallas Buyers Club, so I was out of my comfort zone, but I had to trust that." This change in style, Vallée explains, came from the performances delivered by the films' leading actors, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto... Emma Brown Interview Magazine
Grantland: It used to be you kind of knew what a “Matthew McConaughey” movie was going to be. These days, not so much. So, what do you think a Matthew McConaughey role is now?
McConaughey: Ahh, I like that you don’t know what it is! I like that I don’t know what it is, too. I like whatever form of un-branding that’s going on... John Lopez Grantland
T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5
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