2013 Movie Reviews: Dallas Buyers Club

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Much like last year’s The Master, Dallas Buyers Club is a movie that’s only being cited for it’s performances and nothing else. I came into this wondering if the movie would be good or if it would just be a showcase for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Somehow, the movie manages to be both.

Ron Woodroff (Matthew McConaughey) is a gambler, a drunk, and a player. To top it all off, he finds out he has HIV and is expected to have 30 days left. Undaunted, he does research and finds out that there is a drug that can cure him, but it’s illegal in the United States. After traveling to Mexico to get his hands on some, he discovers that he’s not the only one dying to get his hands on the medicine, so he, along with transsexual and fellow aids patient Rayon (Jared Leto) he forms a club called the.. well you know.

Let me start out by saying that the movie is a little long and that it can sometimes be hard to understand the character’s motivations. And that’s just about all the nitpicking I can do for this movie. The quality of this film really surprised me. The director of this movie is Jean-Marc Vailee, who I’ve never heard of, but he really knocked it out of the park. (Apparently he also directed The Young Victoria.) The editing and cinematography are both brilliant, and multiple times in the film, whenever McConaughey is about to pass out, the sound mixing is used to superb effect.

One thing I’m discovering with every new movie I see is that 2013 is a brilliant year for performances. Matthew McConaughey has a lot to do in this role, and he does it all like a true master. I think he might be my second for a vote. and Jennifer Garner, while subdued for most of the film, does have an ‘Oscar’ moment and could get recognition. (But the field might be too crowded.)

But let’s get to the bottom line. Everyone says that Jared Leto is going to win an Oscar for this movie. And.. they’re right. There was a time when the best movie crossdressers were Adam Sandler or John Travolta. Jared Leto’s performance is on a whole different level. There are so many little female mannerisms that most people wouldn’t think of that he executes beautifully. And he doesn’t just act like a woman; we see he has a lot of emotional depth as well. Jared Leto is winning an Oscar on March 2nd. Concluded.

I’m actually going back and forth on this one. I kinda want to give this movie five stars, but I’m downgrading it to four and a half just because it wasn’t as good as some of the other films this year. But this one is definitely up there. Highly recommended.

****1/2

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