Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Road to the Oscars: there’s only four days left until the coveted Oscar night and I’m reviewing one of the hottest films to come out in 2013 for it’s sheer appeal in the critics circles as well as winning multiple awards already and is nominated for six Academy awards. So hit the jump to find out what I thought, does it really live up to the hype?


What’s it About?

A homophobic electrician, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live by his doctors (portrayed by Denis O’Hare and Jennifer Garner). However, refusing to accept the medication he’s on, Woodroof searches for alternative drugs and supplies these substitutes to willing customers, including an AIDS suffering trans-woman named Rayon (Jared Leto) and thus formed the Dallas Buyers Club.

My Review

DBC in it’s first 10 minutes already gives us a character that we really shouldn’t care about, it (almost forcefully) portrays Woodroof as a loathsome, homophobic and racist man without any character appeal whatsoever. However, once the diagnosis is given and we’re following this man’s journey into a downward spiral, it becomes quite clear that he is a character worth caring about. Matthew McConaughey is just as good as the critics say, he makes the transition from the despicable man to a more likeable protagonist in a way that feels completely natural, and yet still manages to keep parts of Ron’s original personality in-tact in a more realistic fashion.

It’s truly Jared Leto that shines, in a fantastic and heartbreaking turn as Rayon. Leto manages to play a very engrossing character with such magnetism  and appeal, that  she becomes almost the heart of the film. Jennifer Garner is being overlooked for her role in DBC when it comes to hype and while she doesn’t show off any exceptional work, she does intrinsically act as a helpful crutch for her fellow actors with her pure performance.

The director Jean-Marc Vallée provides us with a gritty, rural setting that emphasises the struggles of the HIV and AIDS crisis of the 80’s and while not delving to deep in the politics and issues of that time surrounding the epidemic but managing to give the audience just enough information we need in this character portrait of Woodroof all he did with the real Dallas Buyers Club.

My Verdict

This film is perfect Oscar bait, with it’s excellence in filmmaking and flawless performances backed up by a well paced script, DBC is the real deal and is a film well worth spending your money and time for, if not for the realisation of McConaughey and Leto’s.


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