Oscar nominee review: “Dallas Buyers Club”

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Kaitlyn McCurdy

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Image credits: Focus Features

To be honest, I had never even heard of “Dallas Buyers Club” until I saw a gifset on Tumblr of Jared Leto in drag with the tag “do yourself a favor and watch this movie.”

So, I did myself a favor and watched it.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is based on a true story and follows Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) after he is diagnosed with AIDS in Dallas in 1985. He is given 30 days to live, and after being denied access to any medications, he begins to look at alternatives. He smuggles unapproved drugs from Mexico into Texas, then starts distributing them to other sufferers, like Rayon (Jared Leto), a transgender woman. Woodroof also enlists the help of Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner).

First off, this movie is Rated R for a reason. Woodroof is a sex addict, and while no scene is…too graphic, it is quite vulgar. Woodroof is also incredibly homophobic and racist (it’s Dallas in 1985, does that shock you?), and pretty much every other word out of his mouth is incredibly offensive. Obviously, drugs of all kind are a major aspect of the film. The film also highlights the effects of AIDs on the human, so some images are disturbing.

That being said, I absolutely adore this film.

The script of “Dallas Buyers Club” is simply outstanding. The story itself is awe-inspiring. I went through a range of emotions throughout this two hour film – anger, sympathy, sadness, frustration, happiness, etc etc etc. It’s impossible to watch this film and not feel something. It’s truly inspiring, while still being raw and gritty.

“Dallas Buyers Club” also has some of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

McConaughey gives arguably his best performance as redneck, butthead Ron Woodroof. He does not shy away from Woodroof’s blunt, often rude, tendencies, and easily portrays his range of emotions. He captures every aspect of his character so well and easily handled the complexity of Woodroof. He was a hardass when he needed to be, but quickly could switch to Woodroof’s more “soft” side, especially in relation to Rayon.

Leto absolutely steals the show, hands down. He beautifully portrays Rayon, a heartfelt, happy-go-lucky person whose life goes to shambles after her diagnosis. Leto didn’t act out his character, he full on became his character, and there’s a difference. He talks different, he walk differently, his mannerisms change. He embraced every aspect of Rayon so fully, I literally forget he’s Jared freaking Leto. He had me convinced he was, simply, Rayon. Also, Rayon is absolutely the heart of the story, and Leto rose to the challenge. Every time he came on screen, I was blown away. His performance is simply outstanding. If he doesn’t take home the Oscar, I will write a strongly worded letter to the Academy because that’s bullshit, pardon my language. I’m completely mesmerized by him.

“Dallas Buyers Club” absolutely deserves every single one of its Oscar nominations, but I sadly don’t believe it will win many. The Academy is just too predictable, and it’s sad such a breath-taking film probably won’t get the recognition it deserves. The two awards “Dallas Buyers Club” are most likely (and rightfully) to take home are “Best Actor in a Leading Role” and “Best Actor in a Supporting Role.”

Do yourself a favor and watch this film.