Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — While I tend to try and point out that Texas isn’t entirely filled with bigots (Some of the jerks are actually nice people when they aren’t rooting against the Sooners), I’d be lying if I said I never met more than a few in my travels. I’d even like to say this story is a shining example of how one of those said hate mongers could earn redemption, but aside from tolerance for profit, the character that eventually led to the honor of best actor (and a couple other Oscars) never totally gives up his wicked ways.
That said, I can finally say I understand what a lot of the hype was about when it came to the job done by the lead actor and that it was enough of a plus to deserve at least the nomination. What makes this pretty darn special is how this tale does not lose sight of how intertwined everyone was in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Rodeo enthusiasts might not appreciate it and have a hangman’s noose ready at all times, but it’s pretty hard not to otherwise enjoy “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Set during a time when I was more concerned with how to beat Dr. Mario than discovering treatments for HIV (cut me some slack, I was still researching how to get to Sesame Street), we are introduced to the straightest hoss who ever frequented bull rides, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey). When he wasn’t busy getting laid with the sleaziest hookers available, he was just fine picking on homosexuals, oblivious to the possibility that his promiscuity had exposed him to a disease once unfairly tacked on to his gay targets.
Of course, even when Ron first hears the news he has the disease he deems himself invincible and goes on blazing until he is literally brought back from death’s door by those like Dr. Vass (Griffin Dunne) and Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner). As many had to roll the dice with treatment for AIDS all experimental back then, Ron has ti strike it lucky health and financial-wise by discovering a cocktail of drugs that is more effective than a toxic one approved by the FDA. In way that is as American as possible he both exploits and helps others suffering the same fame selling the mix to those like eventual gay business partner, Rayon (Jared Leto), ultimately beating the odds by several years.