Movie: Dallas Buyers Club
What it’s up for: Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Best Picture, Film Editing, Makeup, Writing (Original Screenplay)
Alright, alright, ALRIGHT (McConaughey impression intended) I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about Matthew McConaughey.
What a heavy, heavy film. I didn’t know much about it beforehand except that Matthew McConaughey’s character had AIDS. I didn’t know it was based on a true story. I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised by the route this film took to tell the story of Ron Woodroof (McConaughey). Woodroof is a Texan cowboy electrician who is diagnosed with HIV. As he struggles to cope and find out more information about his diagnosis, he finds help from a doctor in Mexico who had his license revoked in the US. When his methods begin to help Woodroof feel better, he decides that he could make some money selling these “unapproved” drugs back in Texas.
The film flows beautifully. It tells its story often without words. The film editing is brilliant and amazingly well done. Each scene builds into the others and creates a deep and engaging storyline. The lighting is also amazing and I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten any recognition for cinematography. The screenplay is absolutely fabulous and takes into account the culture of cowboy Texas and the culture of the HIV/AIDS community and the strange overlap between them.
Now…for McConaughey. Ooooooh mylanta, I can’t believe how wrong I was about him. I don’t usually like admitting when I’m wrong but this time, I’m happy to. Besides the astronomical physical changes that McConaughey underwent for this role, he also transformed his personality several times throughout the movie. There were a few times where he had to pretend to be other people as he smuggled drugs into the states and also transformed Woodroof as a person from being selfish and insecure, to someone who truly cared about the well-being of others.
Jared Leto, as the transgender woman Rayon, was astounding. I don’t know how to describe this character and Leto’s transformation. It was an amazing role for the film and Rayon played a big part in the emotional impact of Woodroof’s story and the story of AIDS in general. He and Barkhad Abdi (from Captain Phillips) are leading this pack of supporting actor nominees. The makeup and hairstyling of both Leto and McConaughey were really well done, although it didn’t seem nomination worthy to me.
Overall, it was amazingly impressive. What makes it especially impressive is that it was filmed with a small budget (a mere $5.5 million) and shot in 25 days. It just goes to show that money isn’t what makes a film good, but the talent and the passion that goes into its creation.
Best Picture: Possible
Leading Actor: I personally think that Leo is getting set up to win, but McConaughey definitely deserves the nomination.
Supporting Actor: Probable
Film Editing: This category is a tough call. I feel like DBC is unlikely to win though.
Makeup: This category is so weird this year it’s hard to say. I’m not sure why American Hustle didn’t get nominated for this actually…
Original Screenplay: I think it deserves the win just for the sheer amount of time and effort it took to get the screenplay made into a movie. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it lost.