By Joan Alperin Schwartz
First thing I must say is that Matthew McConaughey has become one hell of an actor...
From 'Killer Joe' to 'Paper Boy' followed by 'Mud' and now 'Dallas Buyers Club' he gives nothing less than stellar performances.
'Dallas Buyers Club' is based on true events and is the story of one man's determination to survive against all odds.
The year is 1985...The place Dallas Texas.
McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a 35 year old electrician and rodeo cowboy. He lives a life filled with unprotected sex, booze, drugs and hanging out with his homophobic friends.
Except for a few bouts of dizziness, Ron's life is one big party.
But that soon changes, when he's diagnosed with the H.I.V. virus and given 30 days to live.
At first, Ron is in denial of his situation. Like most people at that time, he believed that AIDS was a 'gay' disease. How could he possibly have it?
But soon Ron's body gives out and he's hospitalized, sharing sharing a room with fellow AIDS patient, Rayon (Jared Leto) a beautiful transsexual, who's on AZT, a drug that was so toxic at the time, it was killing patients faster than the disease.
Refusing to spend his last days in a hospital bed, Ron checks himself out and proceeds to learn everything there is to know about AIDS.
His research leads him to Mexico, where he finds a doctor treating HIV and AIDS patients with alternative medicines, including vitamins and peptides.
Realizing that these treatments are deemed illegal by the FDA, because of pressure from the pharmaceutical lobby, Ron winds up travelling all over the world, smuggling various medicines into the U. S.
He eventually teams up with Rayon and together, they form a 'Buyer's Club' where patients pay monthly dues and have unlimited access to alternative medicines.
With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron goes up against the FDA, fighting for patients rights, their dignity and most importantly, for their acceptance.
'Dallas Buyers Club' directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, from an original screenplay by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, is a beautiful, inspiring film about never giving up.
Come Oscar time, I'm sure both McConaughey and Leto will get well deserved nominations for their fantastic performances.
Rounding out the cast is Jennifer Garner who plays Dr. Eve Saks, Ron's personal physician, who reluctantly becomes his ally.
I gave 'Dallas Buyer's Club', which opens in theatres Friday, November 1, 2013 five bagels out of five.
Check out our video to see John's score and for more of our thoughts.