Jean-Marc Vallée introduces: Dallas Buyers Club
Panorama | Special Events
Director Jean-Marc Vallée will introduce this retrospective screening of his multiple Oscar-winning drama.
Playing Ron Woodruff, a Texas homophobe who contracts HIV in the 80s, Matthew McConaughey is transfixing as a cadaverous cowboy who refuses to go down without a fight—or at least without making a quick buck peddling unauthorized meds. Outraged by the Food and Drug Administration’s refusal to authorize non-toxic AIDS medication readily available elsewhere, Woodruff sets up a distribution system of his own. With the help of his doctor (Jennifer Garner) and a fellow patient (Jared Leto), he smuggles drugs from around the globe and circulates them through a subscription service. As the establishment doesn’t take kindly to mavericks, this antihero soon finds himself assuming the unlikely role of activist.
Utilizing the gritty, handheld compositions of frequent collaborator Yves Bélanger to underscore the protagonists’ social isolation and struggle for survival, Jean-Marc Vallée likewise makes his customary masterful use of music—including inspired selections by T.Rex and Shuggie Otis—to heighten this involving narrative’s dramatic impact while never diminishing its authenticity.
"There’s a peculiar energy, a life force, to Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyer’s Club… McConaughey is vividly, even agonizingly alive every single second he’s on-screen, as a dying man whose business isn’t finished, and never will be… [This] is a fierce celebration of the unpredictable power that belongs to the outcast, the despised, the pariah. That’s not a story of the ‘80s, it’s a story of always."—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon