Dallas Buyers Club—Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée/ Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn/ screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack/117 minutes/rated R
Bifocal Reviews by Ageless1der, Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(BR) Matt McConaughey’s comes out blazing in Dallas Buyers Club. He is on fire as he portrays Ron Woodroof, a fearless hell-raisin’, bronco-bustin’, homophobe who lives on the edge, and then some. The protagonist (Matt’s character) gets a big surprise to his narrow-minded belief system, when he learns he has HIV and is given only 30 days to live. This explains Matt McConaughey’s emaciated appearance off the set, after losing almost 50 lbs. for this role. His character’s development is only part of a growing change for Matt as he leaves the romantic comedies and introduces us to more compelling parts as he did in Lincoln Lawyer and Mud, with more to come this year! The deck is certainly stacked in his favor for this to be his year for awards. A supporting role, portrayed by actor Jared Leto is also award worthy. Leto plays a transgender as if that’s all he has ever been. It is just brilliant. This could make for an interesting supporting actor category at the Oscars, as Matt McConaughey’s title character in Mud is being called a supporting role, as well. If I were to criticize any performance, it would be that of Jennifer Garner. She just doesn’t react with enough emotion for my tastes. I believe she was miscast, but I’m not privy to the inner workings of production casting. This movie offers tears and many laughs on Ron’s journey as he becomes more sensitive to those suffering from the same disease For me, this was an actor’s movie and my binocular tally was easy: Five Binoculars!
(OG) I agree with Barbara. This is going to be Matt McConaughey’s year for an Oscar, but this may not be the movie that earns it for him, and it’s not because his acting wasn’t great in this film. As you may recall, I LOVED Matt in the movie Mud. In fact, his performance is raised up a notch or two by his costars. So, what does that mean? There is a possibility that one of his roles--up to four films may be under consideration for awards-- may end up in the unenviable position of having to compete with itself for awards, this year! That’s right, Matt McConoaughey might be nominated for best actor for more than one film. Mathematically, he could also be nominated against himself in more than one category! It is possible that he would be considered a supporting actor, for his work in Mud and (fill in this blank with one of the other two movies he’ll be appearing in besides Dallas Buyers Club) and then get a Best Man nomination for Dallas. In fact, he may have to compete with his own supporting actor (Jared Leto) if he gets a supporting actor nomination for one of the other films. You see where this is going? It’s going to make for some interesting rangling come this next awards season. However, for Dallas Buyers Club I personally think Matt and Jared were a great team, character-wise and acting ability-wise. Jennifer Garner, while beautiful, did not convince me that there was any real emotional connection to her character. All in all, Dallas Buyers club still gets four binoculars from me.