The Simple Grace of Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto Win 2014 Oscars

The 2014 Academy Award Nominations

The Grace of Dallas Buyers Club: Facing Despair and Fear With Simple Humanity

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto star in Dallas Buyers Club, the story of real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. McConaughey and Leto’s portrayals in Dallas Buyers Club have been described as this year’s two most transformative and most honored performances. McConaughey won Best Actor at the 2014 Oscars and Leto was named Best Supporting Actor for their staggering performances in Dallas Buyers Club.  McConaughey’s desperation was palpable in the film, a life force that wouldn’t be denied, and Leto’s performance was as seductive and fragile as a butterfly kiss.

Leading up to their Oscar wins, both actors won at SAG, the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Movie Awards, not to mention an almost clean sweep for Leto among the many critics groups who give out these honors. The awards have come for their work in the “little-film-that-could,” in a movie that took 20 years to bring to the screen, that no one wanted to make, that was shot on a tight 24-day schedule for under $5 million and used only available light.

The movie, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is a sober and unflinchingly brutal look at a man (actually, many men), coping with HIV and AIDS in the 1980s, although it’s not set in New York or San Francisco as we’ve come to expect from most movies about this disease. As the title indicates, we’re placed instead in Texas, dwelling in shabby corners of Dallas. While it’s an unexpected place to find a story like this, the film is based on an uplifting true one.

Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of Ron Woodroof, played by Matthew McConaughey, a Texas electrician and rodeo rider. After receiving a diagnosis of H.I.V. in 1985, Woodroof found himself shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of any government-approved effective medicines.Woodroof took his treatment into his own hands and helped others with the disease obtain medication not legally available in the United States at that time. He found a way to begin importing drugs by means both legal and illegal from far-flung countries and began running a buyers club out of a cheap Dallas motel, with the unlikeliest crew of partners.

Bigoted in the way a rowdy Texan rowdy would have been in 1986, Ron nevertheless found his closest ally in Rayon, a willowy, honey-voiced trans woman played with warmth and grace by Jared Leto. Ron and Rayon have a bickering, eyes-rolling chemistry, which served them well as they carried out the important work that the medical institutions wouldn’t do. In its quiet, restrained manner, the movie becomes a truly heartwarming one. Dallas Buyers Club is a delicate, but largely unsentimental, movie about people doing good deeds. Their shared struggle for dignity and acceptance is a uniquely American story of the transformative power of resilience. In their courageous work confronting the nightmarish terrors presented by the early face of AIDS, Ron and Rayon did not go gently into that good night.

Read more about Dallas Buyers Club in The New York Times here.

Dallas Buyers Club (Official Trailer)

Dallas Buyers Club: Anatomy of a Transformation

The Envelope: McConaughey and Leto Discuss Making Dallas Buyers Club

The Callous Mitt Romney: The Full Secret Video of Romney’s Private Fundraiser

The Callous Mitt Romney: The Full Secret Video of Romney’s Private Fundraiser

On Monday afternoon, Mother Jones Magazine posted a short leaked video online that captured Mitt Romney at an exclusive fundraising event that offered a rare glimpse of his personal views. Speaking at a private fundraising reception earlier this year with millionaire donors in Boca Raton, Florida, Romney described almost half of Americans as “people who pay no income tax” and are “dependent upon government.”

Those voters, he said, would probably support President Obama because they believe they are “victims” who are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” With its unvarnished language, the short video clip seems to undermine what Romney’s aides have tried to argue is an enduring attribute that would appeal to independent voters: a sense that Mr. Romney is, at base, an empathetic and caring man.

Now, Mother Jones has posted the full 49-minute secret video of Romney speaking at that May 17th fundraiser, captured raw and uncut. In addition to his denigrating comments about poor people, Romney’s remarks about a critical area of foreign policy set off another media firestorm, generating headlines around the world. Responding to a question about the “Palestinian problem,” Romney said peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible, telling his wealthy donors that Palestinians have “no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Romney’s remarks, degrading nearly half of the electorate, sent the Romney campaign, which was already rocked by infighting, into panic mode. The new video confirms the impression of a callous Mitt Romney, who has little idea of how Americans actually live. Further, the additional comments in this full-length secret video solidify previous impressions that Romney can be quite a bully to those who are not a part of his small exclusive group.

The Full Mitt Romney Fundraiser Video-Part One (36:39)

The Full Mitt Romney Fundraiser Video-Part Two (31:04)

Please Share This:


%d bloggers like this: