Dallas Buyers Club
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Cornerhouse, 9 February 2014
Here you have an anti-tragic film about the rise of HIV/AIDS, graced by a fair few fine performances.
Not for a moment does the narrative slow or let up; it’s always moving forward, telling us something new, relentless and irresistible.
Ron Woodroof is diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. A self-reliant Texan, he seeks out the drugs he needs (they’re unavailable in the States) and helps others too – albeit for a price. Along the way Ron, an alpha male with a casually homophobic outlook, develops his ‘legitimate strangeness’, as Foucault (following Char) advised, and expands his notion of the We. Lovely scenes between Ron (Matthew McConaughey) and Rayon (Jared Leto), a femme sweetheart. They become a bickering couple, affectionate underneath it all.
An excellent film, not least because the emotional manipulation factor is miniscule, close to negligible.