Who is this homophobic, sexist, coke snorting, alcoholic, racist rodeo bull riding hustler? What’s there to like?
His name is Ron Woodroof and for the first half hour you wonder whether you can take any more of his filthy language and filthy habits. With that Southern drawl and curse-crushed delivery you only understand every third four letter word anyway.
Stay with it. You may want to dismiss Ron’s morality as a busted flush, but you will learn to respect his courage.
When told you have Aids and only 30 days to live, would you accept the diagnosis and turn your face to the wall? Or would you fight like a bitch coyote?
Ron fights. It’s his nature. This is 1985 and AZT is the new experimental drug. He bribes hospital porters to supply him before going to Mexico and meeting an exiled American doctor who has worked for years on alternative healthy medicines, claiming AZT poisonous to the system.
Ron smuggles these back into the States and, with the help of of Rayon, an infected transsexual, sets up The Dallas Buyers Club, an illegal dispensary for victims of the killer disease.
Whenever people complain of bland Hollywood product they should consider the indy movement. This film is a powerful example. It is uncompromising in every respect, refusing to pander to the audience’s alleged sensitivities.
Truth hurts. This is a true story. Matthew McConaughey allows Ron no sweeteners to soften the pain. It is a performance of tantalising honesty, thoroughly deserving of an Oscar. Matching him, heartbeat to heartbeat, is Jared Leto as Rayon.
If homophobia is based on ignorance and fear and the gay plague interpreted as the Lord’s punishment on those who transgress the holy scripture, it takes a movie of this quality to hack through the jungle of prejudice and find a common humanity.