Week 7 Dallas Buyers Club

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Director:  Jean-Marc Vallée

Stars:  Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Synopses: Dallas Buyers Club is based on a true story. It stars Matthew McConaughey who plays as Ron Woodroof, a Dallas man who contracts HIV in 1985, when the diagnosis was a death sentence.
Ron Woodroof meets a doctor at Dallas Mercy Hospital, Dr. Eve Saks, played by Jennifer Garner, who is treating the HIV patients as well as working on the AZT drug studies. He also meets another HIV patient, Rayon a transgender woman, played by Jared Leto.
Rayon is already on AZT and it makes her deathly ill. Ron Woodroof is anxious to get on the AZT trails but is worried he will get the placebo and not the AZT, was the drug being used to fight HIV and AIDS. He bribes a hospital employee to get his AZT. He begins taking the drug and actually becomes sicker than he was before treatment. He finds that other patients are also sick including Rayon.
He stops using AZT and begins researching new HIV/AIDS drugs. There were drugs being used in Mexico that showed good results, so he contacted the American physician in Mexico who was treating HIV patients and he made an appointment, going down to Mexico for treatment.
Once in Mexico, he finds that the new drugs he is taking make him feel better. He comes home with a stash of these drugs that are unapproved in the US. He knows these drugs can help other HIV patients in Dallas and decides to disburse them. Once home, Rayon pleads with him to give her the drugs, as well as letting her work for him. He and Rayon rent rooms in an old motel to do business out of.
He tells the HIV community to get rid of their AZT because it is “toxic”, and Woodroof recommends that customers come to his buyers’ club and dispose of what AZT they have and never take it again. The news media hears about the buyers’ club and emphasizes that AZT was the most expensive drug produced to fight HIV/AIDS and there may be better therapies and medications available.
He begins making regular trips to Mexico for the unauthorized drugs. He comes home and starts the buyers’ club to disburse the HIV drugs to fellow HIV patients. He charges a onetime club fee for the drugs. He continues to make trips to Mexico for the drugs as well as continuing his research. He finds some new HIV drugs being made in Japan that were having good results, so he fly’s to Japan to bring some home.
In the meantime, Dr. Saks is very worried about her patients leaving the AZT trails. After speaking with Woodroof she wonders if the dose of AZT is too high for the patients and if the dosage needs to be lowered. She tries to speak with the doctor in charge of the studies and he doesn’t want to hear what she is saying as he believes the AZT is saving lives.
Throughout the film, Woodroof finds himself in trouble with the state of Texas and the Drug Enforcement Agency. They try very hard to shut him down, putting him in jail as often as they could for drug trafficking. He also got out as the charges never seemed to stick.
Review: The Dallas Buyers Club was a very well made movie. Leto’s depiction of a transgender, was so realistic, at first I thought he was a woman. He had all the nuances of a woman down perfectly; McConaughey lost so much weight for the movie, you could hardly recognize him. McConaughey and Leto gave excellent performances. The script, written over 20 years before, was based on interviews with Woodroof and on his personal journals. It is a true story by all accounts is an accurate depiction of Woodroof’s life. However, it must be noted that AZT did save many lives during this period of time.
This film is sad and there are some funny parts, especially played by Jared Leto. This movie won three Academy Awards for 2014: Best Movie, Best Actor McConaughey, and Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto.

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