Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroof, the real life hard living, homophobic blue-collar guy (electrician and a bull-rider) diagnosed with HIV in 1985 and subsequently challenged pharmaceutical laws, the actor electrifies as he finds commercial yet philanthropic ways to help himself and other people living with the HIV virus, when AIDS was seen as an automatic death sentence.
Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto (back after a half decade big screen hiatus as the transsexual) are in absolutely fantastic form as Woodruff and Rayon, both shedding weight galore to play the roles, so great in fact that they are virtually unrecognisable. Both are very deserving of the Academy awards they received – with McConaughey’s talents: the brooding menace, the effortless charm and fiery passion – used to great effect.
Jennifer Garner co-stars as Woodruff and Rayon’s doctor with a heart, which is fitting as this film has heart in abundance.
A film about living, not dying, Dallas Buyers Club is possessed of energy and compassion that comes from great material brought to life by the naturalistic, low-key visual style employed by director Jean-Marc Valleé.