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November 2, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club

by Brendan

Run, don’t walk, out to see Dallas Buyers Club, the new Matthew McConaughey movie in which he plays an AIDS sufferer who establishes a way (Buyers Club) to get the life-saving drugs he needs.

McConaughey has been on the Penitential Tour for a few years now, implicitly apologizing for wasting his talent in a bunch of shirts-off, lightweight movies.  The big part of his apology is that he’s doing serious roles in serious movies, including some that have little box-office potential and that possibly didn’t make him any real big bucks to do them.  (I like this kind of penance!)

McConaughey, Jared Leto playing his transvestite friend

McConaughey, Jared Leto playing his transvestite friend

To be specific, y’all seen The Lincoln Lawyer?  Y’all seen Killer Joe?  (So gritty and distasteful that my wife pronounced that I owed her 10 chickflicks after dragging her to it.)  Or last year’s Mud?  It never was obvious to me during the lightweight phase of his career, but the kid can bring it, and it’s never been more obvious than in Dallas Buyers Club, for which young Matt lost 30 pounds — he’s kinda slim to begin with, so it looks like he’s lost 100 pounds.

in movie history, there’s never been such a turnaround: a lightweight, handsome jerk transforms his career into solid Oscar-worthy performances in interesting, estimable movies.  Sure, there’s been lotsa stars who cruised on their looks for years and then “aged out” and showed that they’d learned how to act in movies.   Robert Mitchum.   Bette Davis.  Paul Newman (ok, ok, he started strong and then just got better).  Or recently, Robert Redford.

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