Since 2011’s “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Matthew McConaughey has consistently churned out one great performance after another in the movies he’s starred in. Already with one award-worthy role under his belt this year for “Mud,” he has added yet another with “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Based on a true story, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a 1980s Texas cowboy whose “sex, drugs and rodeos” lifestyle catches up with him when he’s diagnosed with HIV. The only available drug to treat the disease at the time is zidovudine (AZT), which actually does more harm than good, so Woodroof embarks on a business venture where he smuggles alternative medicinal treatments that are illegal in the United States.
Matthew McConaughey puts in the fullest commitment possible for his performance as Ron Woodroof. Not only did he drop 40 pounds to play the role, but he also does a profound job at mirroring the mannerisms of a dying, HIV-infected person. Furthermore, it’s an even tougher task to find sympathy in a character that’s selfish and homophobic, but the internal complexity McConaughey injects into his performance ends up transcending that change without any fault.
As great as McConaughey is though, Jared Leto’s performance as a transgender woman with AIDS is even more magnetic. Like McConaughey, Leto also completely transforms himself into his role, for which he lost 30 pounds. Because of Leto’s determination and immaculate attention to detail, he will most likely win a slew of Best Supporting Actor nominations in the upcoming film awards season.
Outside of its two award-worthy lead performances, “Dallas Buyers Club” struggles to find a balance of elements that have the potential to be as good. The story embodies the definitive format of an Oscar bait picture, where most of its springboards are answered with expected predictability.
Even though it doesn’t display anything phenomenal past its performances, “Dallas Buyers Club” still deserves to be seen for the sublime, award-worthy method acting performances given by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Other than that, don’t expect anything else that could have been as majestic as the two actors are on screen.
RECOMMENDED: McConaughey and Leto’s performances are great enough to sell for the price of admission.