Wednesday, December 4

Dallas Buyers Club

Can The Film Fatales convince you to sit this one out?

2013. 117 minutes. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Stephen Zahn, Denis O’Hare, Griffin Dunne. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. (IMDb)

elizabeth: I am going to start with my strongest reaction to a movie in a long, long time. I hated this movie. And maybe not for the reasons you think. McConaughey should get an Oscar nomination. Jared Leto richly deserves an Oscar nod also, but I hated this movie. 

I thought I would need a case load of tissues because the movie trailer always left me in tears.  AIDS in the 1980s. Count your blessings if you weren’t born or in a coma. AIDS made the Black Plague look like a mild case of the sniffles.   

And there was a huge segment of our society that did not give a damn. It started with the president of this country and trickled down to a lot of fools who sat around drunk and drugged out and called gay men with AIDS a whole lot of disgusting and vile names. And it was very macho to physically hurt people with AIDS. Real men. I think not. I hated this movie.

I could not stomach watching these actors portray what I consider the lowest of men. The scum of the earth. And that is why I hated this movie.

I am sorry. I can’t review this movie without is becoming personal for me.

Nicole: I suppose it can be said, to play Devil’s Advocate here, that this movie depicts the ugly truth of the origins AIDS epidemic. I suppose one can say telling Woodroof’s story without sentimentalizing him was a brave, if offensive, choice. My conflict is this: why him? There were so many other people to immortalize in film who did amazing work to fight the stigmatism of the AIDS diagnosis. I’m afraid people will bestow upon Woodroof hero status as a result of this film, when he’s no hero. Anti-hero…sure. 

I don’t even think an Oscar nod is necessary for this role. The Academy needs to stop rewarding actors for the physical transformations they are willing to inflict upon themselves to portray someone. McConaughey deserved a nod for his breakout role in A Time to Kill, but not for this. Jared Leto, on the other hand, was the only remarkable performance in the film.

elizabeth: I also hated how women were portrayed in this movie.  I don’t think we needed all those sex scenes (with people who don’t look like they bathe more than once a month) to tell this story. McConaughey’s R on Woodroof epitomized everything I hate in a man and he played it brilliantly. But the story should not have been about him.  I would have cheered this movie on if it was about Jared Leto’s Rayon, a transsexual with AIDS. She should have been the face that would have pulled you into the story. Not a sleazy dirt bag who went looking for drugs to keep his sorry ass alive. He was no hero to me.  Woodroof should have been a foot note in this story.

Nicole: Couldn’t agree more. There was way too much gratuitous sex and drug/alcohol abuse to establish Woodroof was a low life. We got it in five minutes; no need to beat us over the head with it.

elizabeth:  The movie dragged on and was looking to make us all cheerleaders for Ron Woodroof. Sorry, I could not buy into it. He was part of the problem and he was made to look like part of the solution? Maybe he grew a soul at the end of the movie, at the end of his life, but the damage was already done. I hated this movie.

Nicole: As did I. The best thing we can say is: we saved a bunch of trees by not wasting your stash of tissues on this poor excuse for a biopic.

The Film Fatales give DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

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