For audiences and especially filmmakers, there is an aspect of deflated confusion in an actor’s misled sacrifices for an underwhelming film — just ask Jared Leto in his role of Mark David Chapman in “Chapter 27.” Luckily, with the 2012 that Matthew McConaughey had, which saw “Bernie,” “Magic Mike,” and “Killer Joe,” that sort of fate for his AIDS drama “The Dallas Buyers Club” is unlikely, and now seems even more unlikely with the arrival of some welcome distribution news.
Coincidentally also starring Leto (with his weight swung in the opposite direction this time), the Jean-Marc Vallee-directed film, about a Texas man (McConaughey) who starts a life-saving drug-dealing operation after contracting HIV, is reportedly nearing a deal for distribution with Focus Features. If inked, the Universal division would pick up domestic and select international rights with the deal, and also look to tout it as their Oscar hopeful with an end-of-year release.
Right now, Focus just has “Place Beyond The Pines” in awards season contention, but while the film’s box office has been solid thus far, Derek Cianfrance’s epic may prove to be too divisive for voters in the end (not to mention that spring releases don’t last long in the memory with voters). ‘Dallas,’ however, looks to come in swinging with a compelling true story and a cast of actors invested wholeheartedly in the material, including Jennifer Garner, Griffin Dunne, Steve Zahn, and Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox. We can’t wait to see it; let’s hope Focus is just as eager. [LA Times]