Without a doubt, Dallas Buyers Club will be nominated at all of the awards for its main and supporting cast. Matthew McConaughey has been on a solid streak right now after he finally decided to not take roles in movies like Fool’s Gold; while Jared Leto, who returns to acting after a 4 year break, still continues to shine in his performances, whether it is gaining weight or losing it, to dressing in drag, he goes all out for his roles.
The movie begins and we are introduced to McConaughey’s Ron Woodruff: a drugged up, alcoholic, homophobic cowboy who isn’t entirely in everyone’s good graces. After an accident at work one day, he wakes up in the hospital to find two doctors, portrayed by Denis O’Hare and Jennifer Garner, who inform him that he is HIV+ and that he has about 30 days to live. Woodruff scoffs thinking it can’t be true, but then the harsh truth hits him and he begins to do research into drugs. His friends outcast him assuming he is actually now homosexual, and he starts taking AZT, the supposed miracle drug to cure HIV+. It however does the opposite, and thus begins his attempts to create a sort of prescription Drug Empire from the drugs that aren’t FDA approved. So he teams up with transvestite Rayon, Jared Leto, who supplies him with customers while he supplies the product.
Initially, Woodruff is such an unlikable character, who gets into the drug business for greedy purposes, that by the time we actually see him beginning to turn a corner, it is almost too late for us to really care about him as a person, rather we start to care for those he finally decides to help. The movie does a good job at developing the relationship between Woodruff and Rayon, and that is for the most part the main focal point of the film; but Garner’s character feels boring and unnecessary in comparison.
The ending of the movie feels rushed. Clocking in at just less than two hours, the movie could have almost been about 5-10 minutes longer so as to not get some major information in the form of pre-credit subtitles. After spending almost two hours growing attached to these characters, some major plot points happen off-screen, leading to a sort of cheated feeling leaving the theater.
It is hard to not appreciate the acting in this film, and the main characters do shine in the performance, but at times we have to remind ourselves whom we are rooting for. Woodruff is essentially portrayed as an anti-hero, who has a change of heart, but it seems to come too late for us to truly feel sympathy for him. Nevertheless, Leto and McConaughey will be getting their nominations at the Oscars and probably every other award ceremonies, and for that you should see this movie.