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Dallas Buyers Club Deserving of an Oscar

I remember when Matthew McConaughey first came on the scene with “A Time To Kill.” They were comparing his looks to a young Paul Newman, but wondering if he had the acting chops to sustain a career, or even be a star in the first place.

For the most part, stars and actors are still two different beasts. Well, McConaughey has lasted for the better part of almost 20 years to date. Like everybody, there have been some hits and misses. “Dallas Buyers Club” is not one of those misses.

McConaughey gives the performance of a lifetime as Ron Woodruff, a hard ass s**t kicker who unfortunately gets HIV in the early days of the AIDS virus. Not only is this a standout performance as an actor, it’s a story that should have been told a very long time ago. You watch at first seeing not only the struggles Ron has coming to terms with the illness, but also with coming to terms with his own bigotry, and the bigotry of those he used to call friends. The biggest revelation is how experimental drugs used to supposedly help victims of the virus were actually whipping them out more rapidly at that time. So you see, Ron, while never a saint, has to struggle against the government and FDA just to get and give the supplements that ACTUALLY help him and others to survive for as long as possible.

If you watch the film with an open mind, it’s not just a sad, but very maddening tale in many ways, revealing the injustices caused by the people in power in this world. In 1993, Tom Hanks received an Oscar for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the film “Philadelphia.” Even as a younger man, I thought that film and performance was very undeserving of accolades, awarded so Hollywood could pat their own shoulders to make a statement about acceptance, and then shove it under the carpet, again.

If McConaughey wins for this film on Oscar night, it will be VERY deservedly, and I will cheer in that moment. Today’s society tends to forget that HIV/AIDS is still out there. Everyone seems to truly revel in this dangerous “you only live once” mentality, all in the name of fun. This film needs to be watched more than maybe any of the films I’ve seen in the last few months, maybe years. It’s not only a very good film, but a monumentally important one . . .

Review Overview

User Rating: 4.85 ( 1 votes)

About Michael Burk

An avid film buff, artist and aspiring filmmaker since childhood, Michael moved to the area in 2004 from Bakersfield, CA.

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