While much praise has been heaped on Ben Affleck 2.0 (well, more so pre-Battfleck, that is), there’s another Hollywood actor that as of late has finally started living up to the promise he first showed off way back in his career. Matthew McConaughey, one-time beach bum and rom-com leading man, has had a damn good past couple of years with critically lauded performances in flicks like Magic Mike, Bernie, Mud and Killer Joe.
Now in this storied career, his characters have battled everything from slavery, to racism, to the right for men to take off the clothes on stage, to scaly fire-breathing dragons, to Sarah Jessica Park- Oh wait, no, I already said dragons. The point is, he’s fought a lot of things. And now he’s once again fighting something – AIDS – giving what looks to be his latest awards contender performance, in the true life drama The Dallas Buyers Club.
In this fact-based drama, Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, Ron was blindsided with an HIV diagnosis and given 30 days to live. With medications still restricted in the US and the country still divided over how to combat the virus, Ron procured non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world through both legal and illegal means. To avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, Ron established a “buyers club” for fellow HIV-positive people, giving them access to his supplies.
No, that wasn’t a typo. That was indeed once-teen heartthrob Jared Leto playing a transgender woman. But he’s not the only person that underwent a physical transformation for this film, because as you can see, the usually musclebound McConaughey is looking rather gaunt here. He lost nearly 20 kgs in preparation for this, which just shows his commitment to the role. And from what I can see in this trailer, it all pays off and then some. I somehow get a feeling that McConaughey’s name is going to find its way onto a number of slips of paper come awards season.
The Dallas Buyers Club will start selling memberships (not drugs!) in cinemas on November 1, 2013.
Last Updated: August 29, 2013