#9 DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Set in the mid 80's, Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a 100% macho, trailer-park living, rodeo-cowboy, homophobic electrician who discovers he's got full-blown HIV and AIDS and is given just 30 days to live and no drugs. Rather than just crawl off and die, Woodroof sets out to get the drugs and medication that the FDA has ruled illegal and along the way meets up with Jared Leto's Rayon, a gay, HIV-positive transvestite, Jennifer Garner's Dr. Saks, a sympathetic but powerless supporter and he sets up the Dallas Buyers Club which sells other HIV patients the drugs they need by making them buy membership to the club where the drugs are a perk for joining.
Bloody hell this is a powerful film, with uniformly superb performances from McConaughey and Leto, McConaughey in particular continues to show what a brilliant actor he is, freed from the shackles of rom-coms, this is his second film of the year and the fourth film on the trot where he simply excels and shows what he's capable of, his commitment to this role, just physically, is simply stunning and shocking.
His Ron Woodroof is a complex character who never slips into easy cliche, his subtle change from homophobic arsehole to the arsehole with regards his relationship with Jared Leto's Rayon is both naturalistic and sympathetic. This film isn't a one tone, worthy gloom fest, it also has some pretty funny gallow-humour moments and at it's heart it's the story of a man discovering his humanity.
A somber and sobering film this was nevertheless a deeply moving experience.