Matthew McConaughey is a name that I had only thought of in relation to sub-par romantic comedies with bad acting and poorly written scripts. However, recently, the name has started to gain value and respect as McConaughey starred in such movies as Mud (a fantastic movie) and The Lincoln Lawyer. He also gave good performances in the movies Magic Mike and Tropic Thunder. To quote Disney’s Hercules, Matthew McConaughey has gone from Zero to Hero, just like that.
Dallas Buyers Club is the story of Ron Woodroof (McConaughey), an electrician and rodeo cowboy who is blindsided with an H.I.V.-positive diagnosis and given 30 days to live. He soon discovers a significant lack of approved medications in the U.S. and crosses the border into Mexico where he learns about alternative treatments. The movie also stars Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.
I saw the trailer for this movie before having seen any of McConaughey’s newer movies (except for Tropic Thunder, which, on it’s own, was not enough to change my opinion of him). The trailer intrigued me because the plot alone is very different from anything he has done. And then, in 2012, McConaughey was featured in the movie Mud. I saw this after reading some reviews that praised it. And I must say, it really changed my view of him. Mud was an incredibly well done movie that had some brilliant acting (even – no. Especially – from the movie’s child actors). All in all, Matthew McConaughey was now on my radar.
So now back to the movie: Dallas Buyers Club. First off, I want to say that I love this movie. It has a sort of gritty reality that I really enjoy in a movie. The best parts of the movie were for sure the acting and the writing. In the spirit of saving best for last, I’ll focus on the writing before briefly delving into the acting. What I really enjoyed about the writers’ work in Dallas Buyers Club is that the story was extremely compelling. The story is as much about the horrific effects AIDS has had on people as it is about Woodroof’s transformation from being 100% redneck to being more understanding of other lifestyles. As I mentioned before, I love gritty reality in movies. And this movie for sure had a lot of that. That style of writing really allows actors to shine in their performances.
Which brings us to my next subject: The acting in the movie. Wow what a performance by Matthew McConaughey. His performance in this movie is so raw and genuine. He really loses himself in this role. He also had to undergo a pretty big physical change in order to play the part. His acting in this movie really made me feel for the character and genuinely root for him. I shall be following McConaughey’s work very closely from now on. Already he has starred in the HBO show True Detectives alongside the amazing Woody Harrelson (the show is absolutely amazing), and he will be starring in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Interstellar (a movie that I have such high expectations and hopes for). Koodos to you, Matthew. Another performance in the movie that really stood out to my was Jared Leto’s. He is really a new man for this role, which is something I can really respect.
All in all, Dallas Buyers Club is a brilliant piece of film that has some of the best acting I’ve seen in a while. Go watch it!