Dallas Buyers Club: What a Sell Out

by Ethan Alter November 1, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Dallas Buyers Club</i>: What a Sell Out

Let's get this out of the way right up front: Matthew McConaughey is absolutely guaranteed a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club and seems the most likely candidate to nab the statue in the (hopefully unlikely) event that voters decide to pass over 12 Years a Slave's Chiwetel Ejiofor. As Ron Woodroof, McConaughey delivers the kind of star turn that the Academy loves. Not only is his character 1) Based on a real person, who 2) Suffered from a serious illness (in this case, AIDS), but he also gets to play out the kind of redemptive character arc -- going from homophobic bigot to an outspoken activist for AIDS victims' rights -- that sends viewers out of the theater feeling uplifted rather than emotionally wrecked, as is the case with Ejiofor's devastating work. Best of all, he gets to suffer manfully while still retaining that classic McConaughey swagger, the thing that made him a star all those years ago in Dazed and Confused and gives crowd-pleasers like Magic Mike and The Lincoln Lawyer their extra charge.

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