POSTED: Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 6:00pm
It’s award season in Hollywood and one of the most sought after awards is an Oscar. This year several deserving figures have received nominations. From Leonardo DiCaprio’s nomination for Best Actor, to the team of Gravity receiving a nomination for their achievement in visual effects. While these nominations are great, none are more coveted than that of Best Picture. Just a few years ago the Best Picture category increase from 5 nominations to 10, but was soon changed to where each year up to 10 films can receive a nomination. This year 9 films made the cut; American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Dallas Buyers Club
Staring East Texas native, and Longview High School graduate Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of how one heterosexual man fights to find medication for AIDS victims after he contracts the disease himself. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, DBC tells about a time when the AIDS virus was still widely unknown about; the treatments were experimental, many people were terrified because of how little was known about the virus. Yet, out of all of these things we get this powerful and inspirational true story.
DBC is up for several nominations this year, but its two most deserving nominations were for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, courtesy of McConaughey (Mud) and Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars). McConaughey plays the main character Ron Woodroof, while Leto plays Woodroof's business partner and AIDS victim Rayon. When you look at both of these men’s performances, it’s clear there’s a visual transformation, but you also get the sense that they truly understood what their characters were like. They capture how both ends of the social spectrum were in the mid to late 1980s when the AIDS epidemic first started.
Another award DBC is up for is Best Achievement in Editing. The way this film is put together goes hand in hand with the actually efforts of Woodroof. For example, the film is very faced paced which is effective because it shows just how urgent and desperate people were to find a way to treat the virus. It also shows the “do or die” attitude and mentality of Woodroof.
Director Vallée brings a sense of weight in truth with this story. One truth that is displayed fantastically is the truth of understanding. The truth that no one truly can relate with someone and judge them until they themselves experience it. At the beginning of the film we get a sense that Woodroof is selfish, homophobic, drug induced person. Then as the story progressed he slowly changes, almost like the reverse version of Walter White from AMC’s Breaking Bad. About halfway through the film we start to see him becoming more compassionate and open to others. By the end of the film we see a completely different person who’s not just fighting for himself anymore.
Dallas Buyers Club showcased the right situations as well as an even amount emotion and heart. What we see in each of the characters is how they were able to live despite their condition. They were able to enjoy everyday things. What’s heartbreaking is how finite they were. The situations in which these emotions are seen conveys really well with the audience. For example, when we see Woodroof scared for his life, we fear for him; when we see him fighting against the FDA we feel angry for him. It all was a nice blend to help the audience better understand and appreciate the story.
Dallas Buyers Club is a fantastic movie and deserves every award that it receives.