For Reel

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
January 10, 2014, 3:35 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
3 Stars
Dallas Buyers ClubJust as Hollywood has struggled in recent years to tell black stories without a white savior at its center, it is equally irritating that this gay story focuses on a homophobe and the tragic transgender man that he rescues and takes under his wing. Nonetheless, Dallas Buyers Club brings some welcome insight into the political workings of the pharmaceutical business in a time in which the FDA was treating AIDS patients as cash cows or worse. This is the yearly awards contender that has little going for it other than its performances, but fortunately in this example Matthew McConaughey caps off a career-best year with his memorable turn as Ron Woodroof. The good ol’ boy’s desire to make a buck will always transcend his humanitarian impulses–it is admirable that the film doesn’t go all the way in transforming him from entrepreneur to homo-friendly saint by the end of the picture, even if a transgender man played by Jared Leto seems to be written purely for that purpose. Leto, problematic as his part may be, brings a tremendous sensitivity to the role as well as a welcome sass, but Woodroof, with all of his ramshackle determination, is the only character that feels fully realized on the page.