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Actors Shed Pounds for Oscar Worthy “Dallas Buyers Club”

Chris Pace

Anticipation for this year’s Oscars is starting to heat up with the ceremony just days away.  There are nine films up for best picture, but the underdog may make its way to the winner’s stage this year.  Jean-Marc Vallee’s film Dallas Buyers Club hasn’t received quite near the media attention it deserves, but should be throned as the best film of 2013.

In a different and unique role, McConaughey creates the perfect character in Ron Woodroof.  After acting for over twenty years, McConaughey received his first Oscar nomination and has already picked up a Golden Globe for his performance as Ron Woodroof in this film.  Jared Leto, who plays his associate, submersed himself into his role, refusing to act out of character for the duration of filming.

Matthew McConaughey plays an electrician in Texas who is dying from the AIDS virus.  He is a rugged cowboy who plays by his own rules and takes no shit from anybody, but when he is told he has approximately one month left to live, he buys every helpful drug imaginable that he can get his hands on, in his attempt to stay alive.

Woodroof meets Rayon (Jared Leto) at the hospital.  He is another AIDS patient who is part of a program that tests an AIDS drug.  Woodroof cannot get a prescription for the drug Rayon is taking because it is a part of a placebo-controlled program.  He makes his way to Mexico where he meets an unlicensed doctor who prescribes him a different drug, telling him the control the hospital is using burns your insides.

Woodroof doesn’t just take the drugs himself.  He wants to help others suffering from the virus, so he comes up with a genius idea.  He creates a club with Rayon as his associate called the Dallas Buyers Club, and members pay a few hundred dollars a month membership, and they get the drugs they so desperately need.  The FDA catches word of this organization and they try to crackdown on it, but Woodroof isn’t technically doing anything illegal, he’s selling memberships not drugs.

The loophole that Woodroof found aided many people suffering from the AIDS virus and saved the lives of hundreds, but the FDA tries their hardest to shut the organization down.

McConaughey is known for his romantic-comedies during the early 2000’s, but he really stepped up in this film.  He reportedly lost 47 pounds for the role, while Jared Leto also slimmed down 30 pounds and played a remarkable character all the while, one that becomes very close with that of McConaughey’s character, a previously staunch homophobe.

With a tiny budget of only $5 million, the film has been nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Supporting actor for Leto.

The film is a mix between Philadelphia (1993) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), two films that also received many awards and nominations.  There is no doubt that Dallas Buyers Club will win an award at the upcoming ceremony.  This film is highly recommended to anyone who likes the Oscars.  If this year is not Leo’s year, then it might be Mcconaughey’s.