Matthew McConaughey is on a roll these days, acting in some incredible films, such as last year’s ‘Mud,’ the upcoming ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and most recently starring in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ a role that is Academy Award worthy.
Born and raised in Texas, McConaughey fell comfortably into the title role of ‘Dallas’–Ron Woodruff, a bull-ridin’, foul mouthed, gamblin’ Texan, who lives a rowdy, fast lifestyle. While in the hospital due to a work-related accident, Ron is told he is HIV positive and will likely die in the next month.
Based on a true story, ‘Dallas’ is about Ron’s journey from initial disbelief to medical know-it-all and finally advocate. Ron engrosses himself in studies on the treatment of AIDS, including drugs available only outside of the U.S. that were proving to have miraculous results. Ron does just about anything to get his hands on these non FDA but highly effective drugs that consist of a combination of vitamins and proteins. Ron soon sees a business opportunity and begins importing these miracle drugs to sell to other AIDS victims.
‘Dallas’ is not only the story of Ron’s life but it also displays the confusion and fear surrounding HIV and AIDS in the 80s and the medical community’s fight with the epidemic.
McConaughey, along with co-star Jared Leto, who plays a transvestite named Rayon, lost 30-40 lbs to attain their sickly skinny appearances. Many times throughout the film, you’ll gasp at how rail thin they are. Losing weight added to the realism of these two characters but both McConaughey and Leto’s performances make this film.
Leto is a talented guy, known for 90s hit TV series “My So-Called Life,” the astounding “Requiem For a Dream” –to name just two of his acting appearances–and he is also the front man for 30 Seconds to Mars, a rock band that has seen much success, with fans the world over. Leto has set the bar high and he tackled the role of Rayon wholeheartedly. His fearless performance is also deserving of the illustrious Oscar statue next February.
Due to the subject matter, ‘Dallas’ is often heart wrenching but Ron’s perseverance to help others, despite a constant threat from authorities to be put in jail for the rest of his short life, is uplifting and, at times, unbelievable.
As a disclaimer: ‘Dallas’ is rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.