Thursday, 13 February 2014
REVIEW: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
116 Minutes. Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto & Jennifer Garner. Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.
Who shot D.B.C.? A French, Canadian, 'C.R.A.Z.Y.' director called Jean-Marc Vallée whose about to find a lasting home in Hollywood with this Texas range rodeo through the lone state. The real question however is just who the hell does Matthew McConaughey (or musician Jared Leto for that matter) think he is? 'The Lincoln Lawyer'? 'Killer Joe'? He's certainly not a guy living in the 'Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past' skeleton in the romantic comedies haunted closet past even if Jennifer Garner is back with him. Who is this guy? Is he a cameo making mentor of Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'? Or even a serious 'True Detective' alongside Woody Harrelson? Here however he seems to be a Southern drawled and drawn out cowboy who suffers from AIDS, shifting Christian Bale 'Machinist' weight at an opposite 'Raging Bull' rate to trade his trademark muscles for a moustache and career rookie mistakes for a veteran seasoned Oscar. Gaunt but great, bold, brutal and yet beautiful, this is brilliant. Turning a $5 million budgeted film to 23 mill and counting at the box-office, all the while selling pharmaceutical intervention memberships to the hospital checked out needy like a Western 'Robin Hood' from his seedy, budget American motel room, McConaughey has us all-including the Academy-sold.
From the literal bull-riding beginnings this is McConaughey's rodeo. It's not just the skin-crawling capturing that is the body of this now chameleon, adapting actors work. As serious as his thinned down devotion to project is-both acting and health wise-the skinny on this guy is that he literally acts with everything he's got. Even with a beaute of a music-to-the-ears baritone as identifying as Morgan Freeman's this guys Southern drawl can be drawn across many distinct depictions. As far as the country sized state of Texas extends so does his range. Now beneath the voice and the tip of the stetson you can hardly recognise this actor especially from the one from the 'Girlfriends Past'. When 'The Lincoln Lawyer' brought McConaughey back to the case files of his classic 'A Time To Kill' and 'Amistad' beginnings, the actor got more daring and risque with the likes of 'Magic Mike' and 'Killer Joe' showing he's no chicken. Now however he's showing us this is his year before some have even taken down the Christmas tree. First was his chest thumping, cocaine pumping award creating worthy cameo in DiCaprio and Scorsese's 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' and then the breaking great, television game changer of 'True Detective' that sees him play young and old with a touch of darkness and acting craft class. The new slimline figure that you see in both these films however belongs to what may just be his Oscar gold, 'Dallas Buyers Club'.
In the first-film since 'Philadelphia' to take HIV and AIDS and societies lesions of ignorance to task like Basketball legend Magic Johnson did in real-life (this star subject could form a trilogy of films of this nature if someone makes a play), McConaughey isn't the only hero making marks on both trophies and thought with powerful provocation. The new Hanks/Washington one, two punch, powerhouse combo belongs to the guy with the banjo and a rock star as Jared Leto sheds some serious Tom Hanks weight close to Matthews 50 pounds. With dedication to their story and subject and little regard for their health (remember Hanks diabetes was claimed to be caused by epic-weight shifts for his roles from 'Philadelphia' to 'Cast Away') you haven't even seen physical and mental dedication to roles like this for a long time...and we've just witnessed one of the best all-time in '12 Years A Slave'. 30 seconds from more than a 15 minutes of movie fame, the Mars singer Leto can count on the best supporting actor gong, even if some joke it should be an actress one. The pin-up that girls deem 'beautiful' makes for a Budweiser-goggles, good-looking woman at times with numerous looks...check your black book you've probably dated worse. Still the cross-dressing Leto crosses back over from singing to acting (remember him getting it handed to him in 'Fight Club' and 'American Psycho') and proves its more than just his off-screen, or on-screen looks. There's Academy acclaimed acting of artistic integrity and inspiration here darling. Let's hope on the next tour Jared reads some more scripts as well as writing songs, because he really is a true actor by the very method.
Still in Dallas its not just all about the man with the moustache and the one who desperately doesn't want to grow one. Jennifer Garner joins the club too and 'Elecktra' must have been really listening as well as crying to her 'Daredevil' husband Ben Afflecks' 'Argo' acceptance speech at the Oscars too. "You never give up", (that should be this film and its stars motto) he said and far from '13 Going On 30' the beautifully talented actress is back with a 'Draft Day' workload of films for 2014 showing she's keeping busy while Affleck takes on Batman's cowl and the superhero fan-hating internet. Our only worry is, do these guys have a babysitter? A supporting, critical worthy performance as a beyond the bedside doctor with an orderly chemistry with experienced partner McConaughey, Garner brings no doubt. She's the medicine woman behind this method of health service that takes the FDA, the turbulent times of the 80's and a crossed off month death sentence to a war of the wallets, courts, hearts and souls. On the road to the highs and lows of life's twists and turns from the dash we see McConaughey go from sweating and crying hysterically with a pistol riding shotgun to returning, slicked back with Ray Ban's on and real heat in his trunk, looking cool and collected on the same trip. It's all about a metaphor of how quickly life can turn with a shift of gear or a fork in the road. One minute your being told you've got days to live and the next your putting years in to make sure other don't go through the same fate that you want to twist. Ringing in the critics ears in more ways than one, in a world where a homophobic man and a transgender one can go into business for more than just money, that's when you know a singer and a 'Sahara' star (fellow film friend Steve Zahn and the appropriately named Dallas Roberts are here too) can win Oscars. Now these are true Dallas Cowboys. TIM DAVID HARVEY.