Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club (yet another movie title missing the 'the') was alright as Oscar bait biopics go, but honestly, it was that very baity-ness that left me bored with it in the end. It didn't surprise me much - partially because I had already seen the trailer a dozen times, but also because it was so by-the-numbers. It followed all the expected beats of an Oscar bait film: lone protagonist fighting the System, plucky sidekick whom he must learn from even as the sidekick learns from him, tragic death, redemptive moment (or something very much like it), you get the idea. I felt like I has seen this movie dozens of times before, and while Matthew McConaughey was terrific, this movie did not move me the way Milk or Behind the Candelabra did. Speaking of which, I have seen complaints from the gay community that this movie diminishes the role actual gay men played during the AIDS crisis days of the 80s, and I tend to think that's a fair point as well. But for me, this was little more than one more "prestige" biopic that wants you to like it - to really, really like it.

2 comments:

  1. This movie would be helped if paired as a double feature with the doc 'How to Survive a Plague.' The latter is definitely the one to watch to fill in the gaps about gay men (along with straight and lesbian allies) and their fight for effective meds. I enjoyed DBC, but...yeah. I agree with your points. Great review.

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  2. Missed that movie when it came out. Sounds like it's worth seeing.

    Another complaint I've seen is: why is this the first major AIDS movie from Hollywood in a long time? My theory: it's not as hot a topic now as it was in the 80s. For all its success, 'Philadelphia' didn't exactly inspire a wave of mainstream copycats, and that film didn't even happen until '93.

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