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Evokes an Era most will not care to remember
whirrrrl24 November 2013
Much has already been written about Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto's astonishing transformations, and brilliant performances. Solid and true, yes. They both deserve enormous accolades, Golden Globe and AMPAS-worthy, for these transformations and the effort of their craft. But I think the true heroes of this project are the Producers who took a chance on such dicey subject matter. Some reviews hail the project as "A Crowd Pleaser," and yet, you realise, these are TRULY marginal characters, and not entirely likable, as some have already said, in an Era (1970s-1980s early AIDS crisis) that is nearly forgotten in this age of HIV exposure-as-a-managed-care-condition, rather than a death sentence, as it was between 1979-1995. As much as this could be a feel-good film for the discovery and pioneer of protease inhibitor cocktails, it is a compelling character study of a time of crisis that has not been well-captured or documented adequately in quite some time. BRAVO to the Producers of this movie for giving this project the Greenlight, because the sexually-active youth of today would never know the Plague and tragedy that preceded their coming-of-age without a reminder like this.
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I like Your Style
ferguson-611 November 2013
Greetings again from the darkness. It's not unusual for an actor or actress to alter their physical appearance for a movie role. Sometimes those changes become the story: Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull and Christian Bale in The Machinist are two that come to mind. Regardless of the transformation or make-up, what really matters is the performance and the character. Just ask Eddie Murphy (Norbit) or Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal). In The Dallas Buyers Club, we actually get two incredible transformations that lead to two stunning performances.

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto each lost approximately 40 pounds for their respective roles as Ron Woodroof, the redneck, three-way loving, alcoholic, drug-addicted electrician/rodeo cowboy; and Rayon, the sensitive, street-savvy, would-be transsexual so desperate for a kind word. Their physical appearance will startle you more than once, but is quite effective in getting across the struggles of those infected with HIV virus in the 1980's. The numbers impacted exploded and the medical profession was ill-equipped to properly treat the patients.

This is based on a true story and a real life guy (Woodroof) who became a most unlikely beacon of hope for AIDS patients. Woodroof fought the medical industry, Pharmaceutical companies and the government (FDA, DEA, IRS). It's impossible to miss the message and accusations that most of these had a single goal of increasing profits, rather than curing the disease. And that's where the story lags a bit. Michael O'Neill and Dennis O'Hare are the faces of greed and bureaucracy, while Jennifer Garner, Leto, and Griffin Dunne represent the side with a heart. Woodroof seems to be a guy who just doesn't want to die, sees a business opportunity, and even learns a little bit about humanity along the way.

There have been numerous other projects that deal with AIDS, including: Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and the recent documentary How to Survive a Plague. This may be the first with a protagonist who is simply unlikeable, despite his passion and strong survival instincts. McConaughey doesn't shy away from the homophobic personality and cruel manner of speech that Woodroof possesses. We never doubt his frustration at those controlling the big picture, but we never really see him connect with those his brash tactics help.

McConaughey is on a dream run as an actor right now, and it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see him garner an Oscar nomination. But it would be a mistake to chalk that up to his losing so much weight - he really delivers a character that we won't soon forget. And let's not overlook Mr. Leto, who has been away from acting for 4 years touring with his band. He is a remarkable talent and a true screen presence. Compare this role to his Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27. It's not just the range of weight, but moreso the range in acting that so impresses.

Also worth noting here is the outstanding cinematography of Yves Belanger. This movie is shot in a way that brings out the intimacy of the moments, while not losing the big picture. Director Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) and co-writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack work together for a solid foundation, but it's McConaughey and Leto that we will most remember ... and of course, the pics of the great Marc Bolan on the wall. www.MovieReviewsFromTheDark.wordpress.com
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A Facisnating True Story with Gritty Realism and Excellent Performances
Rebel_With_A_Cause_9420 November 2013
One of the best films I've seen this year! A raw, gritty, and incredible true story about a HIV diagnosed man who went to extraordinary lengths to survive at a time when the AIDS epidemic was at it's worst.

Matthew McConaughey who lost a significant amount of weight to play the role gives the performance of his career along with Jared Leto who's equally as good here. The two give quite possibly the best performances I've seen in a film all year in which I actually forgot I was watching actors in a film and instead felt as if I was watching real people. There's no doubt they will both receive nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

While this kind of story does feel a bit familiar overall, it's excellent screenplay and sense of realism along with the excellent performances make up for it. While it's defiantly not easy viewing and a bit of a downer to watch, it's a truly inspiring (and important) true story and one of the years best films.

McConaughey has been made out to be a bit of a laughing stock after starring in a series of really mediocre films. His recent performances however, have shown that the man truly is one of the best actors working in the business right now. Dallas Buyers Club is only further proof of this.
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Review: Dallas Buyers Club
lucasnochez11 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Since before the start of the new millennium until just after 2010, Matthew McConaughey's body of work was just that, a body that worked well on the screen for so many of the aimless, brainless onslaught of romantic/comedy disasters, in which he played the lead. In 1996, McConaughey played Jake Tyler Brigance in Joel Schumacher's A Time To Kill. Hailed as the best performance of his career, it seemed like, critically, that was the closest the actor would get to any praise. In 2011, McConaughey took the lead in Brad Furman's The Lincoln Lawyer, a by-the-number crime/mystery, where, McConaughey was able to flex some of his acting muscles as opposed to abdomen muscles. Since then, in what has been the most sudden and misunderstood acting turn in recent memory, McConaughey has reinvented his career and is continuing to be casted as a serious actor with serious acting skills. While the Texan acting inspiration has remolded his career in a time span that puts to shame that of Downey Jr. and Travolta, one of McConaughey's unflinching signature acting staples is his bold and proud Texan accent. And while I can't really imagine how a cowboy like himself was cast in Christopher Nolan's upcoming science fiction Interstellar, McConaughey and his accent were surely a match made in heaven for his role as the slowly weathering and dying HIV/AIDS patient Ron Woodruff. For Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey and his accent worked exceptionally well. Quebecois director Jean-Marc Vallee helms McConaughey as Ron Woodruff; a rugged, homophobic, ultra- macho, bull-riding, money throwing, playboy with no accord to anyone. Woodruff, a money hustling, chance taking electrician juggles his fortune, his luck, his women, and his job to make ends meet and live a somewhat fulfilling life. It isn't until an unexpected accident at work that leaves Woodruff hospitalized, giving him no choice but to make a difference in his life and the lives of many others. Upon learning of his recent HIV positive diagnostics and short thirty day life expectancy time span, Woodruff, reluctant to die, uses his hustling, smooth-talking, greasing ways to secure him a new, untested medicine to prolong the spread of HIV, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved AZT. After consuming an uncontrolled amount of AZT, the only legal drug that was available at the time in the United States, all the while, still abusing his substances, Woodruff has a close encounter with death. Coming to the morbid realization that the ATZ was depleting his longevity, he enlists the help of a disgraced doctor (Griffin Dunne) and together bring unapproved anti-viral treatments to the U.S illegally. What starts off as a simple economic money tapping market venture, Woodruff, along the way, comes to the realization that his efforts to help others, are actually working. Enlisting the help of fellow HID/AIDS victim Rayon (Jared Leto), the two start the Dallas Buyers Club, an alternative treatment centre for paying members that pits Woodruff in a gestating face-to-face with the FDA and other pharmaceutical companies. As the clientele grows thanks to Rayon's introduction to the biggest HIV/AIDS demographic, homosexuals, Woodruff has a revelation that not only changes his opinion of gays but also is a deep and dark look of sexual discrimination in the south of the U.S in the 1980′s. Dallas Buyers Club is a film dependent on the skills of its actors physical and mental performances. Aside from McConaughey's drastic forty pound weight loss, supporting actor Jared Leto dropped a hefty amount of weight to play the utterly convincing transsexual Rayon. Veering far away from Christian Bale comparisons in his eerie and grotesque turn as Trevor Reznik in Brad Anderson 2004′s indie The Machinist, the two leads in the Dallas Buyers Club abandon physical spectacle in exchange for allowing their on-screen presence to give a candid, historical accuracy of HIV/AIDS patients, and the brutal struggle they faced against a deadly and unforgiving epidemic in the United States in the 1980′s. Dallas Buyers Club is McConaughey's best role yet. Fierce, trashy and edifying, the actor substitutes humility for profanity, glamour for wretchedness, and the light-hearted for the heavy and unapologetic. Finally, McConaughey joins a club of actors that he should be proud to be a part of. Although the year's lead actor category is going to be a full one at this year's Academy Awards, the Supporting Actor category will have a clear winner. Unrecognizable, subtle and submerged into the role, their is no deny or ignoring the raw talent Leto brings to the role of Rayon. His previous efforts as a dedicated method actor, either gaining a large amount of weight or shedding weight with a wink of an eye, Leto's dedication to the craft is showcased in Dallas Buyers Club, and will surely be rewarded. Dallas Buyers Club is a morally, heavy-hitting drama with lasting effects. Dramatizing the social discrimination of gays in the South of the United States and the condition of many low-income, trailer-park living American residents, the film raises the questions whether or not AIDS/HIVS and other fatal diseases are fairly treated within government fine print and whether the main goal of such large and powerful companies is wealth, or health. Gritty, raw and compelling, Dallas Buyers Club is a powerfully dramatic based on a true story. Woodruff was a simple man, whose unfortunate condition brought forth an incredible man who's zest for life inspires others. Ron Woodruff definitely rode the bull in life; challenging the powerful FDA, pharmaceutical companies and notions that were instilled in his since birth. Thankfully for us, Vallee, McConaughey and Leto ride the film into a place in our hearts, in an overly sexualized, passionate display of what it's like to die "with your boots on"; dirty, gritty and with a fighting chance.
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Great Story, Excellent Performances
Slasher_Lover236 December 2013
After being diagnosed with HIV, electrician Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) learns he only has 30 days left to live. After getting an illegal supply of AZT, Ron finds that this isn't doing anything to help him. Eventually fleeing to Mexico, Ron learns of and begins to take a particular drug that hasn't been approved in the U.S. When he finds that this drug is improving his health, Ron sees an opportunity. After smuggling the drugs across the border, Ron, and another HIV patient named Rayon (Jared Leto) begins selling the drug to other citizens with the virus. During the process, Ron battles the medical field and the law in order to prove how beneficial his buyer's club is.

Based on the true story of the real Ron Woodroof, Dallas Buyers Club follow one man's actions on his mission to survive and how he started a revolution in a time when HIV/AIDS was a major issue. The story itself, not only is interesting, but it doesn't contain a dull moments. It filled with dramatic elements with dashes of comedic moments. It also features characters that we come to find ourselves close to. Every one of which gets their own time to shine. The film does jump around quite a bit, but it does so for the sake of the story and the events that are to come, and through every major point in Woodroof's life and battle with HIV.

Among the cast is Matthew McConaughey who easily gives the performance of his career as the blunt and clever Ron Woodroof. McCoaughey conveys different aspects of Woodroof with such ease. There are moments where he portrays Woodroof as being tough as nails, but then he can instantly shift gears into his emotional side. The comic relief aspects also come off completely natural. Jennifer Garner stars as Woodroof's female doctor friend Eve Saks. Garner does a fine job of giving off her charm as she always does, but with this performance we see the conflict her character is battling between her career and doing what is right. But the one actor who stands out the most is Jared Leto as the cross-dressing Rayon. Leto provides not only a lot of the major comic relief, but he also brings the heart of the story. We are shown Rayon as this carefree, happy-go-lucky character, but eventually we are shown just deeply affected this disease brings him emotionally, and Leto brings all of this to the table flawlessly.

Dallas Buyers Club is completely deserving of all of its Oscar buzz. From its powerful story, to its outstanding performances by the two leading males. Whether or not it is or isn't nominated for the 2014 Oscars, it is a film that has to be seen.

My Rating: 8/10
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now that's what i call method acting. The eyes and facial expression says it all.
Fella_shibby19 November 2014
When I saw the trailer of dollars, that time only I predicted that Matthew's gonna win the best actor Oscar. But at the same time a lottuva people I know were placing their bets on Leonardo for wolf of ...I mean just look at Mathew, he looked like an hiv patient. His acting was too good man. In fact I jus saw this movie again on hbo, at 2 am. I dint got the time to write the review when I first saw the movie. I m writing this while am watching it on hbo. It's a sad thing that the cbfc here in India plays a spoilsport by censoring all the English movies even if it's aired after 1 am, while ignoring the trash bollywood item songs openly broadcasted in daylight. Fucktards, never cut the violence portrayed in bollywood movies but all action n horror movies are chopped here. Fucktards even went on to delete scenes from the girl with the dragon tattoo that too in theatres. Good Daniel Craig refused to allow that to happen. But ultimately it's people who wants to watch, they are deprived. Coming back to the movie, it was a very good movie with excellent acting and editing.
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Outstanding movie about important themes.
PWNYCNY26 November 2013
This movie is wonderful. It contains all the elements of a great movie. It has a strong script, excellent acting, compelling themes and terrific cinematography. This movie contains what is probably Matthew McConaughey's best performance. He carries the movie. He is in just about every scene. The movie deals with several themes - AIDS, terminal illness, government regulations, response to crisis, change of life issues, homosexuality, promiscuity, personal responsibility, and capitalism. All these themes are treated forthrightly.After watching this movie, one should come away with a better understanding and appreciation of the issues raised. But although the movie touches on themes that have political implications, it is first and foremost a drama. Although the movie takes some literary license, such as frank depictions of sickness and drug abuse, none of it is gratuitous. That is, it adds to the story.
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Matthew McConaughey...A STAR IS BORN
cait-853-77430524 November 2013
At times Mr. McConaughey's acting abilities may have been in question, but doubtless there has always been a genius just waiting to explode. And explode it does in Dallas Buyers Club. Given a fully explored and developed character, he is the centrifugal force of the engaging plot of an American tragedy, seamless direction, lively dialogue and creme de la creme supporting actors. This actor, who proves he can blur the lines between acting and real, rises to the ranks of Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, our Grand Pere, Jack Nicholson, and his own idol, Paul Newman. Unquestionably, he deserves a spot in Academy Awards for Best Actor. At long last, given the opportunity, he has proved to possess truly exquisite talent; to be an actor's actor, worthy of study, deep respect, even awe. He skillfully brings to life an oddball cowboy character to the level of hero, and mesmerizes the audience at every single breath, by every stretch of his emaciated gorgeous heart, soul and body. Shirts off to Matthew McConaughey, and may you never doubt his abilities again.
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Matthew McConaughey Deserves His Oscar
claudio_carvalho30 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
In 1985, in Dallas, the homophobic electrician and rodeo rider Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a smoker and cocaine and alcohol user that frequently has sex with hookers and promiscuous women. When he faints in his trailer, he is sent to the hospital where Dr. Sevard (Denis O'Hare) and Dr. Eve (Jennifer Garner) tell him that he is HIV+ and will die within thirty days. Ron also meets the travesty Rayon (Jared Leto) that is drug addicted that also has the disease.

Ron does not accept the diagnosis since he is not homosexual but a couple of days later he realizes that the diagnosis may be accurate. He researches about the disease and learns that AZT might be lethal for infected people. Further, he discovers that in Mexico there is a doctor with revoked license named Vass (Griffin Dunne) that uses alternative drugs in the treatment of AIDS. Ron improves his healthy and decides to sell the drugs in Dallas. He makes a partnership with Rayon and soon he creates the Dallas Buyers Club, where the memberships pay four hundred dollars per month to have the necessary drugs. But the FDA does not accept his research and he is oppressed by the authorities.

"Dallas Buyers Club" is a great movie based on the true story of a terminal man infected by HIV+ that fights against the system to prolong his and his clients' lives using drugs not accepted by the FDA. Matthew McConaughey deserves his Oscar and it is impossible to recognize Jared Leto, also awarded with an Oscar. The story also denounces the participation of the pharmaceutical industry and doctors in the United States of America using unethical procedures to test and sell their drugs. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Clube de Compras Dallas" ("Dallas Buyers Club")
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The best movie I've seen in years.
robert-259-289544 December 2013
After watching this film, I've run out of glowing superlatives to describe it. First of all, a word on Matthew McConaughey. I've always thought of him as a relative lightweight in the film world, the sexy leading man best designed for selling tickets and little else. I am happy to report that I was mistaken. Sadly, horribly mistaken. From the very first frame of this amazing movie, I was so amazed at his physical transformation that it took a half an hour just to adjust my eyes to the frail creature I saw before me. But it was real, just as his stellar performance both illuminated the way I look at the entire AIDS epidemic and the toll it takes on humanity, both gay and straight. This film happily avoided all previous clichés and typical treatments of the subject matter, transcending every other film I have seen regarding HIV/AIDS. For so long I have decried the serious lack of great film for ADULTS, with seemingly everything out today designed for pre-pubescent teenaged boys interesting in nothing more than mindless video games and moronic super hero sequels. As with many memorable independent films, this gem was elevated to heroic status with the incredible acting of McConaughey, in concert with the amazing Jaret Leto, providing the perfect foil to his perfect, character-driven role. Every, single reason for going to the movies is present in the glorious truth and humanity of this landmark effort, a "must-see' for anyone seeking superior acting in profusion. If there's a God in heaven, Matthew and Jaret should both win the Academy Awards for Best Performance by a Leading Man, and Best Supporting Actor. Each actor went far beyond mere "acting" in this film, becoming so entirely immersed into character that they stopped acting and just BECAME. Don't miss this important and moving film.
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A brilliant performance
howard.schumann17 November 2013
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, patients were advised to wait. In the six years following the first recording of the AIDS outbreak in 1981, more than 40,000 people in the U.S. died while waiting. In response to the clamor for action on the AIDS crisis, then Vice President George H.W. Bush has been quoted as saying "If you want change, change your behavior." Roger Ebert recalls, "Politicians did not want to be associated with the disease. Hospitals resisted admitting victims, and when an AIDS victim died, some health-care workers would place the body in a black garbage bag. Funeral homes refused to accept the corpses."

As described in David France's documentary How to Survive a Plague, activists such as the New York-based organization ACT UP began to protest against the government's callous indifference, challenging the FDA to change their drug approval procedure and the pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices and speed up their research process. In addition to the organized group protests, individuals also did their part and the determination of one unlikely crusader, electrician Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), a homophobic "good ol' Texas party boy," is the centerpiece of Jean Marc-Vallée's gritty and hard-hitting Dallas Buyers Club.

Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack and based on real events, it is the story of Woodroof's personal struggles after being diagnosed with AIDS and his efforts to spread public awareness of the disease and help reduce the suffering and extend the lives of AIDS patients. As the film opens, the heterosexual, drug-using and unabashedly promiscuous Woodroof receives the bad news from his doctors that he only has thirty days to live. Reacting with vitriol, he storms out of the hospital, cursing and making homophobic slurs while accusing the staff of making the wrong diagnosis.

After thoroughly researching the disease, however, and accepting the idea of his serious illness, Woodroof hears of a clinical trial for the new drug AZT, the only legal drug that was available at the time in the United States. His attempt, however, to become one of the participants is denied and he has to purchase the drug surreptitiously from an orderly. Unfortunately, he soon finds out that the dosage of AZT he is taking is toxic and his condition worsens. Refusing to give up, he visits an unlicensed American doctor (Griffin Dunne) in Mexico who has had some success with alternative treatments such as vitamins and protein-based anti-viral drugs.

Smuggling non-FDA approved experimental and alternative medicines into the U.S., he creates a business that allows him to distribute the drugs free of charge to AIDS patients who pay a monthly membership fee to join his Dallas Buyers Club, one of many such clubs that sprang up around the country. Woodroof is assisted in his venture by the drug-addicted transsexual Rayon (Jared Leto), a fellow patient that he met during his hospitalization. Though the film's depiction of Rayon does little to break the gay stereotype, their mutual engagement in helping AIDS victims helps Ron see his business partner in a different light than on their first meeting.

With the help of a sympathetic doctor, Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), Rayon and Woodroof work together while dodging Food and Drug Administration enforcers and the wrath of the pharmaceutical companies. In one of his best efforts, Matthew McConaughey, who lost 40 pounds for the movie, delivers a brilliant performance as the emotionally volatile but basically decent Woodroof. Though ultimately, not all alternative drugs proved to be useful, Woodroof and Rayon's determination in the face of powerful interests helped paved the way for development of new treatments, even though it took until the late 90s to come up with one that was fully effective. As a result of their efforts and that of countless others, HIV is no longer the death sentence it once was.
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Consistent and engaging story told with a strong lead performance and a refreshing lack of sentimentality
bob the moo8 February 2014
This film came to the UK with the usual awards hype that seems to accompany any number of bigger films that are released around this time, but I had made an effort to avoid it and didn't know too much about it other than McConaughey being talked up about his performance. Indeed I had ignored it as much as I could and to the point where I really knew the barebones of the plot – which was to say it was a true story of a guy who got HIV and, frustrated by the lack of medical treatment at the time, decided to start running effective drugs unapproved by the FDA across the Mexican border into the US. With this very basic grasp I did worry that the film would be sentimental, making a hero of the main character, playing up the plight of the infected and generally being the sort of film they wheel out for awards at this time of year, ticking all the topics off that gets voters onboard.

Happily the truth is that, although there is an element of this, the film doesn't overplay to this side of its nature and instead delivers a remarkable straight telling without too much excess. The character of Ron is a hustler first and everything else second and this doesn't change once he finally gets through the "bargaining, anger, denial, acceptance" stages of his diagnosis. As a result his efforts to bring in the drugs are not done out of some selfless act of wanting to help others as he prepares to meet his maker, but rather as part of his own fight for life he hits on a scheme to make money – and for the majority of the film this is the case. This central truth to the character really works to rob the film of sentimentality of him and therefore of the wider situation and it makes for a better film because we are engaged because we are interested rather than becomes a sweeping musical score or "Oscar clip" moment tells us to feel something. It does still do this and it does still bring out the sense of people struggling to live while the structure supposed to help them does little about it, but it does so in a way that is refreshingly free of smaltz.

Although this is a strength, it should also be said that the film doesn't manage to bring it all together as well as it should given the subject matter. It just feels like it falls a few steps short of greatness in terms really delivering an emotional punch that informs on the individual and the bigger picture at the same time – it does do this, but it is more consistent rather than building to this. Despite this it still works and although it lacks these real highs of delivery, it was functional and successful and I appreciated the lack of easy sentiment. The performances match this and in particular McConaughey gets the tone of the film and by return sets it. He is great, not because of the weight loss but because he delivers an unsympathetic character and convinces as him whether he is raging in denial, hustling or hurting. He is the heart of the film and it works as well as it works thanks a lot to him. The support characters are never more than supporting though, but of course Leto is strong in his role – not because he cross-dresses, but because he is the character and he makes Rayon about much more than the appearance. Zahn, Garner, O'Neill, Dunne and other recognizable faces all do solid work but primarily this is McConaughey's film.

Dallas Buyers Club may not be perfect but it is consistent and it is engaging. I appreciate that it never resorts to easy smaltz or cheap sentimentality and it seems perfectly fine with its flawed character being flawed throughout the film. It is a well told story which links well from the individual's story into the bigger picture, even if it doesn't quite impact at that level as it could have done. Within the solid and effective frame of this story, McConaughey then seals the deal with a really strong lead performance as he takes yet another massive leap away from being that guy leaning against the title on the bus poster.
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Two shining performances
majic-57 December 2013
Other reviewers have ably reviewed this film, so I'll just say that this small gem is the best film I've seen so far this year. Both lead actors give sparkling performances, and in scenes where they share the screen, you might need sunglasses to handle the sun-bright intensity.

Of note is that this entire film was shot in only 23 days and Leto, in particular, said in an interview on the Daily Show, that he didn't have much time to rehearse, making the performance even more impressive. The only detraction was Jennifer Garner. She barely projects the authority of a nurse, let alone a doctor, even though female doctors in the 70's (and maybe today) were second-class citizens.
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Ron Woodroff VS FDA
jmoneyjohal19 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Dallas Buyers Club is a compelling and stunning watch. The films main plot has to with the world of AIDS and HIV in the 80s. Ron Woodroff gets infected with HIV, and is told he has 30 days to live, he then takes things into his own hands and goes to Mexico. In Mexico he gets introduced to new drugs that help with HIV and AIDS but they are not FDA approved. Here starts the battle of Woodroff VS the FDA. He starts his own club where he treats people with AIDS and HIV, thats the main plot. Acting wise Matthew Mconganuey gives his career best performance, he lost almost 100 pounds for his role, and he stuns with such a mature and spellbinding performance. But Jared Leto steals the show, he touches new heights with DBC, his performance is award worthy. The films minuses are the slow pace and excessive length.Overall this film is path breaking because the subject of AIDS has not been talked about much in films, its a must watch for all cinema lovers.
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Avoids all the traps of melodrama by being whole-heartedly hilarious at times, with just the proper dose of raw emotion, and performances that will be remembered for ages.
plpregent18 February 2014
Matthew McConaughey is barely recognizable as Ron Woodroof, an electrician/womanizer who ends up finding out he's contracted HIV/AIDS and has 30 days left to live. After searching deeper for information on a relatively unknown disease (at the time), he finds out that there is existing medication that is not yet approved in the U.S.A. that could help him survive longer.

However, after running into red tape when trying to obtain medication, he decides to smuggle massive amounts of pharmaceutical products and starts selling them to other HIV/AIDS infected patients, creating the "Dallas Buyers Club".

First of all, what a film. Jean-Marc Vallée's "C.R.A.Z.Y." was quite something to watch, but "Dallas Buyers Club" is a tremendous achievement. Vallée's directing is stellar, the script is top notch, and features a palette of characters that makes this story truly engaging and human.

Homophobia, illness, lust, being incapable of receiving proper treatment, smuggling, death, friendship, the limitations of the legal system, these are all themes that would lead one to think that this film is a depressing drama. It is not. And that's where the success of "Dallas Buyers Club" lies. All these themes would make the perfect recipe for a melodrama, wrap it up in a small package with a big star (McConaughey), and put the "Based on a true Story" stamp. But it's so much, much more.

"Dallas Buyers Club" avoids all the traps of melodrama by being whole-heartedly hilarious at times, with just the proper dose of raw emotion, and performances that will be remembered for ages. Half-way through the film, my friends and I looked at each other, in a bit of disbelief, unanimously agreeing that McConaughey deserves an Oscar for this. Jared Leto is also wonderful as Rayon, an AIDS-infected transvestite patient that will become a great friend and business partner, and that will trigger Woodroof's change of vision towards homosexuality. And it is not drastic. It comes in all kinds of subtleties and heart-warming moments. Hats off to Jennifer Garner as well, she is flawless.

Without ever offering a heavy-hearted tone, this is a story of perseverance and positivity with an interesting setting that sheds some light on an often forgotten page of history. Engaging social drama, well-written comedy, and wonderful cinematic experience altogether.
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Matthew McConaughey is MAGNIFICENT
troy-manatunga16 February 2014
I have felt this before, this feel of being taken aback seated speechless for a moment after witnessing something epic. It took me a while but then it dawned upon me that this is what I felt when I first watched Daniel Day-Lewis portray the Academy Award Winning role in LINCOLN. Undoubtedly in the most outstanding performances of their careers Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are my favorites thus far for bringing home the goods at the Oscars for the nominations of Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading role and supporting roles respectively in the bio-drama DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

If you had suddenly being told that you have only 30 days to live and that you have to make peace with this information how would you react? Rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) wakes up in hospital to this news which is shared with him by his attending physician. Woodroof who has been diagnosed positive of the HIV virus reacts to this revelation in anger. In fact it is this anger that fuels him to the distances that he reaches out for survival. Woodroof who was initially treated with the drug stated AZT did not respond positively to them. Instead the needle happy bull rider tried experimenting with medications and drugs to concoct his own special brew of HIV anti bodies, Strangely these events did lead him to certain discoveries that attracted the attention of the legal system whose waking wish was to shut him down. May it be money, may it be his human instinct to live, Woodroof along with Rayon (Jared Leto) did not give up which invariably resulted in the opening of the DALLAS BUYERS CLUB ; a business that dealt the FDA unapproved medication to HIV patients.

Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee has difficulty in controlling the rhythm of the screenplay and is wobbly at first. Trailer trash sex scenes and orgies and drugs engross the first hour of the movie which although has relevance to what Woodroof is all about did not contribute much to what the movie is entirely discussing about. Once Jean gets his feet firmly on the ground for a good 45 minutes with the actual matter the screenplay derails yet again when the battle between life and death becomes a political tussle in between Woodroof and the government. For starters the entire political involvement is abruptly handled with I would say less than 5 minutes of screen time and top of that to the audience it breaks rhythm and direction of the true struggle of Woodroof and Rayon.

What keep this loosely driven motion picture in balance are its two lead performers. The weight losses alone show the commitment and the help of makeup and hairstyling simple accentuates the entire performance even further. It's been sometime since a movie of this caliber has been in our midst. There is no room for excessive CGI. No room for artificial imagery and what we see is pretty much what goes on in front of the lens.


Exquisite work on the part of the leading men. McConaughey and Leto are on a whole new level. It's a slow paced bio-pic so don't expect intensity instead expect detailing and finesse. A movie only for the lovers of the genre. I repeat only for the lovers of the genre.


-Best Motion Picture of the Year -Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role -Best Performance by and Actor in a Supporting Role -Best Achievement in Film Editing -Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling -Best Writing, Original Screenplay

Did you also know?

-It is said Matthew McConaughey was on a diet of Chicken, 2 Egg Whites, a Small Pudding and 2 Diet Cokes daily for 4 months. - McConaughey and Leto respectively won the awards for Best Actor/ Supporting Actor at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

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JKL: The Movie - McConaughey gives an Oscar-worthy performance of complex strength and a certain shabby nobility as Ron Woodruff
george.schmidt9 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (2013) ***1/2 Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Kevin Rankin, Griffin Dunne, Michael O'Neill. McConaughey gives an Oscar-worthy performance of complex strength and a certain shabby nobility as Ron Woodruff, a rough-and-tumble Texas good ol' boy whose sudden diagnosis of contracting HIV and given a death sentence instead galvanizes the pig-headed, homophobic rodeo cowboy a chance at redemption by sticking to his guns, digging in his heels and serving up an ad-hoc business selling memberships to those similarly afflicted for non-FDA approved drugs. While Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack's screenplay serves the subject all- too familiarly from one-note borderline redneck to patron saint somewhere in between it is the clear eyes direction by Jean-Marc Vallee and his star's amazing acting skills in making an unlikable reprobate something we all recognize: all too human in an unjust world. Leto is equally remarkable as a transvestite homosexual who become Woodroof's aide-de-camp and best friend in the process while Garner's green doctor balances out as a medical professional learning the knotty ropes of big pharma tactics. McConaughey lost a reported nearly 40 pounds to give his skeletal appearance the verisimilitude necessary but make no mistake he delivers the goods, warts an all with a sense of dark humor and self-worth. JKL - Just Keep Livin' ; indeed
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Join the club and buy this movie. It's worth seeing!
ironhorse_iv21 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Dallas Buyer Club is a great American biographical drama film! Co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Set in the 1980s, the movie tells the story of a real-life AIDS patient, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas for treating his symptoms and distributed them to fellow people with AIDS. Fighting against the orders of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ron must try to manage his 'Dallas Buyers Club" while facing the opposition from the government agency that originally sent out to protect him. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I have to say, while the movie is based on true events, it's also highly fictional. A good example of this, is the supporting characters of Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), and Ron's transgender friend, Rayon (Jared Leto). Both were composite roles created from the writer's interviews with transgender AIDS patients, activists, and doctors. While, some critics might see these examples of artistic license as offensive, due those whom resent the reinterpretation of real event historical events; I saw it as a huge colleague improvement. After all, both Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto did very well in their roles. Jared Leto even won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his accurate depiction of a fictional transwoman with HIV who helps Woodroof. To portray his role, Leto lost 30 pounds, shaved his eyebrows and waxed his entire body to look the part. Nevertheless, it wasn't as extreme, as Matthew McConaughey had to go, through, as Ron Woodroof. McConaughey lost nearly 50 pounds, just to play the role in the film. The severity of the weight loss for these actors is getting way too dangerous. I can see McConaughey having problems, later in his life, because of this. Despite that, he was amazing in this movie. Kinda glad, he won Best Actor for this movie. However, while Woodroof was known for peculiar eccentric behavior, according to those who knew him; both the film and McConaughey made him rougher than he actually was, with all the rampantly homophobic. Due to this, a lot of critics, believe that the portrayal of Woodroof in the beginning of the film, was very inaccurate and somewhat offensive, when many saw him, as a man that didn't harbor anti-gay sentiments and was himself bisexual. While, many of these real-life accounts are indeed mixed. Here is some truth about the guy. The real-life man did do hard drugs, and had a lot of sex, but also he was a family man, unlike the one, we saw in this film. I kinda do, hate the fact, that the movie cut this fact off from the story, because in my opinion, his ex-wives, family members and a daughter could help, push the character study, along, its character development. Despite all that, I do love, how the movie makes the main character transforms from a rotten person to a heroic one. Yes, he starts out as a homophobic, bigoted, promiscuous drug user, but he become very likable, over the course of the story, when he learns to take care of himself, eat healthy, and learns to appreciate and love others regardless of who they are. This is better than most tragic movies, are willing to give us. While, the movie's ending is bittersweet. I love the anti-corporate message demonstrated through drug companies' heartless action. It's true about what Woodroof says about the FDA. A good example of this, is the dangers of AZT when use to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. While, it's true that high doses of this drug is indeed toxic, it's also true, that AZT has worked for many patients at an appropriate dose. The use of AZT as a way to treat HIV/AIDS is still a highly target controversial, medical debate, even today. Just note that the drug does somewhat work, in small doses. Another good thing about this film is allowing the audience, in rethinking their apparent anti-gay sentiments. It indeed, changed a lot of opinions of straight people had on gay people. It also introduce mainstream audiences, to a realistic portrayal of transgender, outside of Comedy or Indies films. I love, how this movie was filmed. Lots of symbolism with the idea of riding the bull, sequences. Loves all the close up, and bait and switch camera movements as well. However, there were some historic inaccurate with some of the sets and props in this film. It's funny, noticing somethings in the background that clearly wasn't there in the 1980s. Overall: the diagnosis for this rodeo of movie has fine performances which are the highlights of Dallas Buyers Club, but you don't want to go believing too much of its history. The movie takes many shortcuts, compressing and compacting its story that it's hard to tell, which sequences are fiction and which are the truth. In the end, it's best for you to watch it, and judge yourself. I do recommended it.
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Superb portrayal of a tragic period for health in the Western world
bob-the-movie-man20 February 2014
After "12 Years a Slave" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" I'd thought I'd seen all of the serious best actor candidates for this year. That was before I'd seen Matthew McConaughey's performance in "Dallas Buyers Club". The performance is simply outstanding: less showy that DiCapprio's in "Wolf"; certainly less worthy than Ejiofor's in "Slave"; but in my book, this would get my vote if I were an Oscar or BAFTA voter. He is nominated which is good: but he won't win I fear.

It is almost impossible to like McConaughey's character - Ron Woodroof - in this film. He is a racist, a bigot, a homophobe, a misogynist, a drug and alcohol abuser and has streaks of violence simmering just under his hateful and hating Texan skin. If there was anyone you would cross the road to avoid, it would be him. And yet McConaughey fills the role with such power and such passion he makes the story utterly gripping. Seldom have 2 hours flown by quicker in the cinema. There have been three physical transformations this year that have made you think "that can't be good for him": the first was Christian Bale's pot belly in "American Hustle". And then there's McConnaughey and co-star Jared Leto in this film. Clearly both have been on an extreme diet for a considerable period: less five:two and more seven:zero. Painful to watch: why do actors do this to themselves? The film, based on a true story, tells the story of Woodroof's fight to stay alive against the ravages of Aids in the mid-80s: he refuses to lay down and die, as all the doctor's predict, and goes on a one man crusade to identify and bring into the country - against the US Food and Drug Administration's approval - experimental drug combinations that will prolong his life. During this journey, of course, he comes into close contact with the gay community that in his previous life he so despised: and the mirror of his own past views is held up to him during his dramatic role-reversal through the reaction of his former 'friends' and colleagues to both himself and his new-found gay friends. This sets up a devastatingly powerful and emotional story.

Also of note are McConaughey's two supporting actors: Jennifer Garner as his doctor friend Eve and (particularly) Jared Leto as his transsexual friend Rayon: receiving a well-deserved Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

A word of caution for those easily offended: Dallas Buyer's Club features extensive sex and drug taking scenes, and whilst not as extreme as "Wolf of Wall Street", this is also perhaps another one not to take your maiden aunt or squirming teenage son/daughter to see. But for everyone else, this is a highly recommended film. Delightfully un-sugar-coated, thoughtful and gripping, and a triumph for the leads, the writers (Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack) and Canadian-born director Jean-Marc Vallée ("The Young Victoria").

(If you enjoyed this review, "follow the Fad" at http://bobmann447.wordpress.com... thanks).
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Commentary on Hollywood inaccuracies
dankott-526-8728981 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Before it seems that my "review" seems one-sided and completely negative, I want to emphasize it shouldn't take away from the performances from the two lead actors. I think they have done an excellent job overall.

My major criticism centers around the continuing inaccuracies of Hollywood and very simplistic portrayals of the complicated themes and issues affecting the players during the 1980s and 1990s during the US AIDS epidemic.

I understand the target audience is not going to need to know accurate history, certainly not in America, and also appreciate this is strictly intended for entertainment. I just find it ironic that political extremes always denounce propaganda while continuing to use it for their own means. I found the script very poorly done and wholly inaccurate with such severe bias after researching the real Ron Woodroof.

Conflicting information 1. Ron likely wasn't as extremely homophobic as portrayed. He was never as confrontational as depicted in the movie. He was also never in the rodeo. 2. All the treatments he was marketing were wholly ineffective in treating HIV/AIDS. Read for yourself on DDC (Zalcitabine) and others were downright harmful. In fact due to the lack of follow-up of the patients, many may have had an accelerated demise due to some of the combinations used (impossible to say of course). 3. The FDA had already loosened some of the restrictions on drug trials to fast track treatments. There were never any dramatic seizures like in the film. 4. Dr. Saks, who was horribly portrayed by Jennifer Garner and Rayon are fictional for dramatic elements only.

I could continue on. My issue is that proponents always say how great it is of Hollywood to raise awareness on a film. I appreciate this but it distorts history and harms how people react to ongoing crisis if this should arise again. It is like trying to pass on an action movie as based on a reality when we know it should be purely for entertainment.
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For the record...
ozjosh0320 February 2014
In the interest of balance (and as a clue to the filmmaker's intentions), it's worth noting that many friends and associates of the real life Ron Woodruff have attested that he was not remotely homophobic and worked happily alongside gays. Some even thought he was gay, or at least bi. (Interviews with these people can easily be found online). In choosing to depict Woodruff as a redneck homophobe Dallas Buyers Club rather self-consciously opts for an unquestionably straight hero, while almost entirely airbrushing gays out of the picture. It also defames a real life hero who has nobody left to defend him. The truth, of course, is that the Dallas Buyers Club, like many similar ventures at the time, was largely run by gay activists. But they are nowhere to be seen here. Instead, we have the titillating composite figure of Rayon, the transvestite with a heart of (Oscar) gold. Again, interesting that the filmmakers opted to replace all those real life gays with a star turn for an actor in a dress.

Many reviewers have been happy to describe this movie as sensitive or daring or brave. In fact, it's just another piece of Hollywood exploitation, as timid and untruthful in its way as Philadelphia, and far more concerned with being a showcase for actors than with the truth of the story it purports to be championing.
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The hard side of life: how honest is your government ? Imagine the early days of AIDS
cmstormer-484-3123131 March 2014
I generally think McConoughey had become a bit too self absorbed. This movie, however, does validate my belief that he wants to do valid, absorbing film, whether comedic or serious. The storyline is - without spoiler - simply the early days of AIDS. The fears, the rumors, the medical community's stalwart continuation of using the victims as test subjects without real concern or commitment to resolution in many cases. Based on a true story, I recommend you watch the film for the period boldness, the two primary characters' acting, the sad part or directing which put a talented actress in a bad light. The person on whom the story is based is but one of us and we all have a story to tell. It's magnificent that someone read the Desiderata and determined to tell his story, which is worthy of your open minded, compassionate viewing. His daughter found it to be very real and her story about her father is worth looking up after you watch.
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Really Enjoyed This!
I was surprised that this film missed out on Best Picture because it for me it beat anything else that year in terms of substance, intensity and creativity.

Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor winners here were well deserved, but I think Best Picture would've been justified. I thought Jared Leto's portrayal of the transvestite was amazing, so convincing in terms of fragility and the frustration of being a woman in a man's body, in addition to all the little quirks of mannerism exhibited by effeminate men.

There is so much in this film for the budding film student to consider, it's an absolute treasure of essay worthy material. The single most important topic in the film for me is a man's right to choose alternative medicine as a legitimate treatment for disease, in this case the focus was AIDS, but could also be seen in the context of cancer or anything else.

The ethics of big pharma is covered which is held in contrast to the ethics of the individual entrepreneur played brilliantly here by Matthew McConaughey. While the activities of big pharma are protected by law, the corruptive profit motive at the core of American industry is suggested in the film to be at odds with the public's best interests when McConaughey's entrepreneurial character offers a homeopathic alternative which appears to work. The authorities try everything in the book to put him out of business but the entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of his American Dream to challenge the pharmaceutical industry establishment refuses to concede defeat.

There is a sting in the tail however and I wont mention it here because it is a spoiler for those yet to see this movie. There is a lot more to this movie which includes bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, class struggle, to name but a few of society's least attractive characteristics. Dallas Buyer's Club is a huge dose of gritty realism we haven't seen for quite a while and a true story it appears. Go see it!
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The Movie is about living
never_relent4 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is not quite about AIDS, the much it is about coldness and meaninglessness. I reached the multiplex some 10 minutes after the movie had begun, but the drift of story and the direction is too easy to grasp, and yet so abominable. Matthew is an electrician. The recklessness in his life has a reason… he has learned to care for none as a gesture in return to his upbringing. By the end, he does talk about his memories of being a kid, of having a father… of being taken care of. Then all those experiences which began as a thrill in the evenings and pretended as sense of freedom slyly and slowly had become addictions and only way to keep the brain from wondering what went wrong, why his life was the way it was. He became so mellow with being that insanely drunk guy in the blinding mist of cocaine and screams, moans of whores and random girls. Movie does not have any noticeable music… I can imagine the horror of musicians though. He's not a bad guy at all… it's just who he is—callous and kind of rejecting and condescending. But somehow this is how men seem to be normal where he lives. Then one day while trying to save a guy from being amputated at the rail-yard where he works, he gets shocked and passes out. He wakes up in a local hospital and blood-tests turn out to bear a news, a dead-end to his horror—they confirm that he is HIV positive. Was it whores, was it queers, was it recklessness…? So, he's admitted and right next to his bed is this biological boy who feels like a girl—Jared. Matthew is homophobic not by heart but by trend. His homophobia is like their love for MTv top 40. But Jared is a very loving girl inside a guy's body. They play cards and Matthew(character's name Ron) loses. He is there after having tried to lose the sight of this HIV+ thing too in cocaine, liquor and whores. But he had to, for probably first time, accept that this one is different…. A drug company comes up with a new drug AZT which is up for a test for 1 year and having done a lot of research on his part, Ron tries to get his hand on AZT by bribing a Mexican ward-boy. He was given only 30 days of life according to Doctors when first diagnosed positive for the virus. On 30th day, he goes to Mexico and gets those drugs which are legal everywhere else except in U(FDA just won't approve of 'em for some unspecified reasons which make it seem like a programmed fork of drug companies). He lives to see the 32st day. He keeps on getting those drugs and succeeds in convincing the custom department that it all is for his personal use. All along, he has to experience rejection from his friends who have begun to believe that probably Ron has been sleeping with homosexual guys(71% of international HIV + cases were associated with gay sex relations). It was shattering, but Ron had already grown up in Antarctica of human compassion—Dallas, Texas.

Matthew dies 7 years after being diagnosed HIV+. He lived the most after the news of HIV+ blood in his veins.

The fact that movie bears all along the reel time is that there is loneliness… no matter how much sweetness Hollywood and POP songs and Ads and sitcoms and popular fiction and all coat the reality with, there are guys who go to bed alone wondering what went wrong and how feeling sad for oneself is gay. And this is what the film is about, the coldness because we expect a happy end, a lovely glossy life like walmart outlets and richness. People try to find passion, they trick themselves into thinking that probably if they get rich, their lives will get better… they try to escape accepting that it is all illusion. It's just love which men seek to give and feel. Jared happens to play this thing in his character… and he did a splendid job.
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Powerful film
joseph_sellings2 March 2014
Dallas Buyers Club throws you straight into the deep end, with no floats. They don't dance around the facts, and reality hits you hard. Matthew McConaughey slims down to an incredible size for this role and plays his part with huge conviction. The story tells of a man who goes to hospital for a work related injury, to be told he has HIV. Doctors tell him he has 30 days to live, but in denial takes no notice of the warning. Finally, he comes around to his disease and finds AZT is the only drug that can prolong his life, he goes in search for it it Mexico. Jared Leto plays an amazing supporting role, as a Transgender patient also with HIV. Fantastic direction, but will definitely not be appreciated for its full potential by some, because of the nature of the film.
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