Posted February 3, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Dallas Buyers Club Review


Matthew McConaughey is Ron Woodroof, a low rent Dallas rodeo hound, booze, drugs and sex fiend and part time electrician. That is right up until a nasty accident at work sees him end up not just in hospital, but also getting the bad news that the doctors happened upon: the fact that he has contracted HIV, and likely AIDS.

A life changing event for sure, and one that sets Ron on a up and down trajectory, and right into the path of people whom he would normally not be caught dead with. Not to mention ending his common friendships almost instantly with everyone else. This is after all not just the south, but the 1980’s when the uneducated leapt to very few conclusions about the causes of such diseases.

Ron though is no prince charming deserving of our affections or sympathy; At least not at the beginning. The journey though the character goes on is almost proof of a life.

First he makes a slow but sure friendship with the  transgender Rayon (an almost unrecognisable Jared Leto putting in a terrific performance) and then south of the border he runs into a doctor who can provide him with the right medical attention he needs – as opposed to what little is on the legal market that apparently seems to do more harm than good. And it’s taking control of the illegal market where Ron not only finds a way to sustain his life beyond the 30 day deadline he was given, but also make a tidy profit with the initial help of Rayon.

Jennifer garner takes another step in the right direction in her dramatic career as a reluctant doctor who sides with Ron. The show may belong to others, but she proves once again an aptitude for picking good projects to work in and associate herself with.

We have already once last year stared in amazement at the career rebuild that Matthew McConaughey is on. It beggars belief that someone could come back into their own so strong and sustain it for a third year now. Each year has been loaded with lead and supporting roles (Killer Joe, Magic Mike, Paperboy, Mud, Bernie, The Wolf Of Wall Street…),  and now he has a detective TV show that is doing the business in America as well now. Of course he is headed back to big budget cinema later this year too with the lead role in Chris Nolan’s Interstellar. There seems to be no stopping the man.

Dallas Buyers Club is yet another strong performance, and one that seems to come naturally to the actor with very little evidence of the filmmakers trying to milk the drama for anything less deserving than a great performance. McConaughey deserves the awards and the nominations thus far and is a serious contender for the Best Actor Academy Award (if not the shoe in at this point).

Dallas Buyers Club is Oscar material for sure – but despite the subject matter it is littered with black comedy and charm along the way.

5 Stars




Steven Hurst