This week is a bit like Christmas for cinephiles, as two of the fall’s premiere festivals get underway with Venice and Telluride ushering in the awards season. And even with all the fireworks those line-ups will be bringing, as the first word on many big titles surface, right around the corner is Toronto. Set to cause a stir there is “Dallas Buyers Club,” and a few more images from the highly anticipated movie have arrived.
The film is another fascinating career choice by Matthew McConaughey, who stars in the true story tale as Ron Woodruff, an AIDS activist and sufferer himself, who becomes an unexpected advocate, smuggler and provider of life-saving drugs in an era when the disease was a mostly misunderstood terror. He brings unapproved drugs to those stricken with the disease, seeks out alternative treatments and far outlives the 30-day prognosis given to him by his doctor, played by Jennifer Garner. Here’s the official synopsis:
In 1986, the AIDS crisis was still a misunderstood horror, withering then taking its victims, alarming the public and confounding the doctors who sought a cure. In Texas, Ron Woodruff stood beyond the fear of AIDS. He was clueless. So when this boozing, foul-mouthed, womanizing heterosexual contracted HIV, his response was instinctive: Bullshit.
Dallas Buyers Club draws on his true story. When Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey) is told that he has only thirty days to live, he pleads with a doctor (Jennifer Garner) for what was then an experimental drug, AZT. But he refuses to submit to a clinical trial, so he steals the drug — taking his first dose with a beer chaser and a snort of cocaine. When the AZT dosage makes him sick, he seeks out alternative medicine. Never one to heed rules, Woodruff smuggles unapproved treatments over the border from Mexico. Along the way, he strikes up an unlikely alliance with Rayon, a sleek but troubled drag queen, played with stunning conviction by Jared Leto. The pair teams up to sell treatments to the growing numbers of HIV and AIDS patients unwilling to wait for the medical establishment to save them. It’s a classic story of American enterprise.
“Dallas Buyers Club” opens on December 6th.