Review by Pete Mason
The AIDS movement in 2013 is far different than the emerging movement in the 1980s, the setting for “Dallas Buyers Club,” the true story of how Ron Woodroof got life-saving medicine to those afflicted with AIDS when there were no viable treatments on the market. Now, deaths from AIDS are rarer and do not pepper the news with stories on the tragedy surrounding what was once called a “gay plague.” But in the ’80s, few knew what this new disease was, and a cure seemed impossible. Today, we are nearer to curing AIDS and have found combinations of medicine and vitamins that were unimaginable 20 years ago. “Dallas Buyers Club” tells the tale of an era that few knew existed and would shock many when confronted with the stigma and homophobia of the ’80s.
Matthew McConaughy plays the hero, Ron Woodroof, a homophobic Texas cowboy/electrician, a womanizer and gambler who drinks, drugs and deals his way through life in 1985. An accident at work sends him to the hospital where Dr. Sevard (Denis O’Hare) and Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) inform him he has HIV and a T-cell count of only nine, and that he has only 30 days to live. This is so early in the AIDS crisis that 30 days was a best estimate, while Ron would end up living until 1992. Ron takes the next few weeks to find out all he can about AIDS, seeing doctors and learning what remedies might exist for him.