I just saw “Dallas Buyers Club.” Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are, in my opinion, well deserving of their Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
“Dallas Buyers Club” poster. Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
The film tells a piece of the history of the 1980s AIDS struggle with which I was less aware: the difficulty with getting proper, life-saving treatment in the early days of the epidemic, and the surge in something called “Buyers Clubs” where HIV positive people paid a monthly fee to get a cocktail of drugs, vitamins and nutritional supplements proving to sustain health for a longer period of time than anything the doctor could prescribe, all of which was somewhat outside the bounds of the law (and definitely outside the purview of FDA approval and DEA rules).
The main character, Ron Woodruff, is a rough, bull riding, hard-living Texan, already infected when we first meet him, but he is about to learn that fact. By the end of the movie, he is still most of the above, but has found acceptance and community among people he used to abhor and ostracize.
Character development? Check!
If you are sensitive to scenes of rough living (sex, drugs, gambling, etc.) you won’t want to see this film, and it would not be appropriate for the kids, even teenagers.
But if you appreciate films that break new ground, reveal a dirty secret about the government and the pharmaceutical industry in the 1980s, and/or satisfy with good characters who evolve, making their lives count for something, check it out!