Film Review Dallas Buyers ClubMatthew McConaughey has had quite a year. No longer content to cash in on Hollywood throwaways like Fool’s Good and Failure to Launch he followed up his let’s-get-weird turn in last year’s Magic Mike with a scene-stealing cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street, the lead in Jeff Nichols’ Mud and his current co-starring role as the Taxman, a detective with a troubled past and some bizarre theories on HBO’s True Detective. But it’s his portrayal of Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyer’s Club that’s getting all the attention, and after seeing it this past weekend I can assure you that’s for good reason. McConaughey plays a rodeo rider with “a pussy addiction” who is diagnosed with AIDS in late stages and given 30 days to live in a time when very little was known about the disease or how to treat it. Labelled a “faggot” by his ignorant, tough guy Texas friends and given no help from the medical community Woodruff was forced to look for other ways to prolong his life and in his own way helped turn the tide on the treatment of HIV and AIDS from a focus on trying to cure the disease towards boosting the body’s immune system so that it could cope with the daily attack. It’s a difficult, demanding role both mentally and physically that required an actor of his pedigree not only to get it made but to bring some much needed charm, grace and dignity to someone who was given virtually no chance to live and instead chose to fight not only for himself but others suffering the same fate. It’s an impressive piece of work and likely the highlight of what’s turned out to be a very interesting career.

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