Dallas Buyers Club

In Film, Politics on November 28, 2013 at 2:12 am


Sweaty, Steamy, Gutsy.

The twisted irony of fame, especially with respect to its affect on actors and acting, is the Chinese-finger-trap of fuckery it forces on those at the forefront of fakery, i.e. movie stars. For, having achieved stardom and become a Name, the most prominent actors and stars must shed their hard-won, ubiquitous, enterprise-laden identities in each successive role.

As famously noted in Thank You For Smoking, the past decade has seen Matt McConaughey bound from face to name to icon and star. All this hard work has left him with the greatest challenge still remaining, to transcend stardom and re-become the actor he always has been. He flexed his scary-good chops in 2012’s Mud, whose trailer alone left this critic straight-up shook. Gotta Netflix that joint. Missed it the 1st time ’round.

So now here here is, Matthew McConaughey, the man, the business, the movie star, showing up in character as Ronnie Woodroff, an early adopter of the HIV-AIDS plague down there in early-80s Dallas, Texas.

In a performance just short of transcendent, McConaughey reels on along the razor’s edge of self-destruction and virtuosity, starving,  literally, for the crux of the craft, the truth of the actor’s trade, the marrow within the meat of make-believe. He drives himself delirious in his delivery of Woodroff, and looks to be on the point of passing out at more than one point in the movie. Still, he is, in save but a few scenes, still stuck within the larger-than-life identity of Matthew-McConaughey-as-Ron-Woodruff, rather than Woodruff alone. But dammit if he doesn’t damn near kill himself going for the gold. His task, it must be remembered, is no small charge given the awesome proportions of McConaughey’s stellar rep.

So: not quite the stuff of Oscar gold, imo — but I still gotta check that Mud piece.

Jared Leto shows up in the high form that has become typical for him as Rayon, a pre-op transexual whose pathos is no trifle, hunny. He gets the role right and generally struts around like the scary bitch he became — for the movie, yo, not shit-talking no sir. Rayon’s confrontation with Daddy remains a memorable moment. The anger works better than the sadness in that scene, imo.

Aite 1.


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