Lately, I tend to find movies based on true stories much more engaging than those that are pure fiction. The same is true for tv shows. Apart from some comedies, I can't really watch anything else without feeling extreme boredom kick in after 10 minutes. I do however seem to be binging on Investigation Discovery programs that are all based on real life stories. I don't know what's happening to me, but I think I've reached a level of fiction saturation.
Dallas Buyers Club is a biographical film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. It tells the story of Ron Woodroof, an electrician and occasional bull rider who doesn't think twice about unprotected sex, drugs and alcohol. It's July 1985 in Texas and Woodroof finds out he has AIDS and only 30 days left to live. He is in denial; his homophobia doesn't let him accept the fact that he has contracted the HIV virus. He's not a "faggot" after all.
I have great respect for actors who undergo major physical appearance changes to look their parts. Seeing Matthew McConaughey as an emaciated about-to-die character, after so many pass-the-time romcoms, is a huge and welcome change. The Southern drawl is still there of course, which makes him all the more believable. His performance is breathtakingly moving. Will Woodroof curl up in a corner and wait to die just because his doctor told him so? His friends isolate him as they believe he's gay, a major no-no in '80s Texas. His body is failing him. He loses his job. But nothing stops him. His iron will gives him the strength to defy everyone and everything and fight his battle like a true warrior.
Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto are also great. Leto should definitely be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He is heartbreaking as Rayon, the transvestite who becomes Woodroof's friend when everyone alse abandons him.
Vallée's movie is one of the most glorious survival stories I have ever watched. It is also a captivating tale of transformation. A homophobic "redneck" becomes best friends with a transvestite. A dedicated doctor realizes that the pharmaceutical companies do not really care about the actual patients and decides to go against the system. Dallas Buyers Club is a definite must-watch.