Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare, Deneen Tyler, Michael O'Neill, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts and Griffin Dunne
This was a big deal at the time of its release. McConaughey was on an upswing in his career with The Lincoln Lawyer, Mud, and Killer Joe. This movie nabbed him the Best Actor Oscar along with Jared Leto for Supporting. Did I love this movie? No.
Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is a down on his luck electrician that finds out that he has tested positive for HIV. He doesn't beleive it at first, because it was a gay disease. Then, he has a change of heart and researches everything about it. The CDC, FDA are trying to control a trial of AZT to treat AIDS symptoms. Woodroof circumvents the red tape to provide medicine for people not on the trial.
I have some thoughts. I was not rooting for Woodroof. In the context of the movie, he was extremely prejudiced and homophobic. The slurs that were coming out of his mouth would make you blush. You expect me to root for this awful man. Was he trying to make a difference in treating AIDS? Sure. Should I clap for him? No. He was the main character of the movie. That does not bode well for me. I wanted him to fail. I didn't care about him.
This movie was trying to be so deep with the wailing, "oh, look at me, I lost all this weight so I can get an Oscar" and all that. I wasn't falling for it. Why did this story need to be told? I read up that one of the screenplay writers put a whole bunch of misinformation in the initial script with conspiracy theories that HIV do not develop into AIDS or how the early drugs like AZT worked in human body.
I have to get this off my chest. There were too many characters in this movie. I was confused who from whom. I didn't know who was Tucker, T.J. or Clint. They all looked the same; white men with mustaches. Get rid of them. I don't care.
Did McConaughey and Leto give good performances? Sure. Oscar winning? Not really. It did not elevate the material in my eyes.