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Klavan On The Culture

Dallas Buyers Club Could’ve Used More Hollywood

January 29th, 2014 - 6:00 am

What’s strange about the picture, though, is its overall lack of feeling. It’s cold and seems to be operating on autopilot — as if director Jean-Marc Vallée (who did a good job with The Young Victoria) expects the audience to do the work of feeling things he never takes the trouble to make them feel. McConaughey’s transition from gay-hating good ol’ boy to tolerant good ol’ boy is told rather than shown. The payoff delivers no punch whatsoever. The end of Leto’s character arc actually occurs offscreen, leaving you without much sense of resolution for the one really sympathetic guy in the story. I wanted to bring in my unshed tears for a refund! And McConaughey’s character never really achieves the level of AIDS Schindler because, while his fights with the idiots in government resonate, his crusades against AZT and “Big Pharma” seem misguided. Pharma was doing what it had to do, and the drug ultimately turned out to be helpful. It’s silly to make villains out of well-intentioned people swamped by crisis.

This is a film-worthy period. The AIDS epidemic at its height was a genuine historic event. Good people died — a lot of them — and attitudes — toward health, toward homosexuality, toward sex in general — were changed forever. It’s a good setting for a story. But this weirdly flat film just doesn’t bring it to life. It’s not a bad movie. It’s certainly watchable and the good cast delivers some entertaining moments. But strange as it may sound, it could’ve used a little more Hollywood, a little more hearts and flowers all around.

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Top Rated Comments   
... gay transvestite heroin addict...kindness, intelligence and vulnerability.

And hookers have big hearts.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (6)
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my roomate's aunt makes $66/hr on the computer. She has been fired for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $21248 just working on the computer for a few hours. website here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>http://is.gd/qq2Gsg
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I liked it a lot more than Andrew did. It was a powerful Libertarian film about how inept and corrupt the state is in dealing with serious issues like healthcare. As if we didn't know. But I have a relative who is gay, their partner died of AIDS after being given lots of AZT. As the film shows, it was a horribly wrong treatment that killed more people than it saved. And thanks to Woodruff's efforts, he exposed how only low doses should be given. In fact, my relative is still here because they refused to take AZT. Perhaps if you knew someone who died back then you might connect with the film more, like I did. And no, I am not gay or bisexual. You don't have to be to like this film. Its not really so much about gay issues as about how you cant trust the state to save you. You need to do your homework like Woodruff did
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wondered how far into method acting McConaughey would actually go for this role without infuriating his new wife and endangering his children, not that his severe weight loss is without repercussions.

Is it time to tell the role that careless, oops, meant carefree bisexuals played in the AIDS epidemic? Inquiring minds and all . . .
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am tired of the propaganda.

They have to lie about the life of a bizexual and instead say he was a homophobe who became a gay liker.

There is a cost for lying. You can get away with it for a long time, but it will be your undoing.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cue Swindle. Time to tell us how wrong Klavan is and this is really a great movie. You go, Dave.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
... gay transvestite heroin addict...kindness, intelligence and vulnerability.

And hookers have big hearts.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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