Film: Dallas Buyers Club directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

File:Dallas Buyers Club poster.jpgDallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée with an original screenplay by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto. It was released in Madrid on 14 March, 2014. Begoña and I went to see the film last weekend.

The synopsis on the official website says: A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence. His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the US, so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the US, challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner). An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron’s lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a “buyers club,” where HIV positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron’s pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before

The story rests on two pillars. One is the evolution of an extremely homophobic man, Ron Woodroof, towards a greater understanding of people with different sexual preferences, after being infected with HIV virus. The other is his fight against the  pharmaceutical and health system that does not offer a better alternative. And it counts with two superb interpretations, for this alone is justified go and see it. But it seems to me that neither the direction nor the way the story is told, bring out the best of this film.

See Dallas Buyers Club review at The Hollywood Reporter

Official website


8 thoughts on “Film: Dallas Buyers Club directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

  1. José Ignacio – I’ve not yet seen this film, although I’ve heard good things about it. It’s interesting how much impact the approach to a story has on the end result. I can see how that and the film’s direction would affect your view of it. I am glad you thought it was wroth seeing though.

  2. I saw this movie too. McConaughey’s appearance is quite startling. I did some reading behind this too. The family of Woodroof say he wasn’t homophobic or that aggressive as portrayed in the film. The movie does touch on the underground AIDs movement that was significant in changing the way the FDA approve drugs for the dying. So, informative film. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of it as a whole.

    1. Keishon, thanks for your comment. The story is based on some real events, but that doesn’t mean necessarily that everything has to be true. In fact the evolution of the main character provides an important perspective to the story.

  3. I did not know much about this movie until I watched the Oscars. The clips from the movie convinced me that it had great acting, but the subject seemed so depressing.

      1. Your description does make it sound better than I was imagining. If I can find someone who will watch it with me, I will see it eventually.

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