Thursday, January 2, 2014


So, watched DALLAS BUYERS CLUB tonight and though impressed with some of the performances: mainly Matthew McConaughy's and Jared Leto's (who steals the show for a few of his early scenes) I was a little disappointed. Interesting story not so well told or directed.

Jennifer Garner often looked stressed and confused, her talent wasted, in my opinion, except for a moment here and there. Leto was incredible in his transformation into a—not sure of the proper technical term for a man who dresses and makes himself up as a woman, and very successfully, but obviously hasn't had the hormone treatments etc. to make his body more female.

And McConaughy's performance dominates the movie, since it's his character's more or less true story. But his physical transformation at times was distracting in the way DiNiro's was for me in RAGING BULL, reminding me too often that this was an actor who had gone to drastic lengths to in DiNiro's case add many pounds and in McConaghy's to lose them.

But he did a great job in the face of some terrible script writing and directing and editing, for my taste. There were scenes that seemed to be all exposition, or tedious technical information not dramatized just stated, and many missed opportunities. The whole transformation from intolerant immature bigot to a more compassionate and tolerant man was sporadic, often confused and not very well dramatized, with the exception of a few exceptional scenes.

Sometimes I couldn't figure out what the moviemakers intended the audience to be thinking about the characters. Though they often made it too obvious what they wanted the audience to be feeling about them or specific scenes. And some of the cuts made me feel that there must have been a lot of scenes that never made it into the film that may have explained the scene jumps better.

It had its moments that made me dig it (the scene where Leto's character and McCounaghy's embrace brought tears to my eyes, and other scenes between them made me laugh, as did McCounaghy's brief sex scene with a fellow AIDs sufferer) and be glad I saw it. But I feel a much better and more impactful film could have been made from the same material that would have better served the actors' efforts.


Annabel Lee said...

I dug it. It's so supergreat it's out there telling a real story. Then I watched "How to Survive a Plague," the documentary about Act Up. They're a good pairing -- neither one is a perfect film, film-wise, yet together they pack a wallop. "Dallas Buyers Club" was missing some context and some of the feelings associated with what those times were like, and the documentary about Act Up was missing some of the "entertainment" factor that a Hollywood movie delivers, even when it's doing it in a botched sort of way. Don't see one -- see both.
My two cents.

Lally said...

Worth much more than two cents Annabel. Good observation and suggestion. T'anks kid.