Trending
MOST READ
Coming Out in College, A Survival Guide

Coming Out in College, A Survival Guide

News: Ah, college! Whether you’re new to a local campus this semester or you’ve been before, there’s something about the teeming... By Richard Farias 9/3/2014
What Do You Get A 1-Year-Old NDO? Enforcement

What Do You Get A 1-Year-Old NDO? Enforcement

News: This week marks a year since the San Antonio City Council amended its 20-year-old non-discrimination ordinance to include gender identity, gender orientation... By Mark Reagan 9/3/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Girl in a Coma’s Nina Diaz Inaugurates Tobin Center’s River Walk Plaza

Girl in a Coma’s Nina Diaz Inaugurates Tobin Center’s River Walk Plaza

Music: With her lifetime’s work rooted in the SA trio Girl in a Coma, 2014 marked the year for singer Nina Diaz to branch out on her own thing. In the practice... By Matt Stieb 9/3/2014
Malcolm Brooks’ Novel ‘Painted Horses’ is a Love Song to the Western Frontier

Malcolm Brooks’ Novel ‘Painted Horses’ is a Love Song to the Western Frontier

Arts & Culture: In Malcolm Brooks’ inspiring debut novel Painted Horses, it’s 1956, and archaeologist Catherine Lemay is sent by... By Leigh Baldwin 9/3/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens

‘Dallas Buyers Club’: Juicy for McConaughey, thin for LGBT

Photo: Courtesy Photo, License: N/A

Courtesy Photo

Rayon (Jared Leto) is not exactly thrilled with Ron (Matthew McConaughey) either.


Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if all it took for assholes to become angels was a little adversity? Hollywood has a long tradition of advancing the notion that even the most flawed man can be transformed into a selfless crusader if exposed to just the right mix of personal tragedy and social injustice.

Throw in a “based on a true story” slugline and that's all you need to prove the myth of the exceptional man.

This is why Schindler’s List chronicled the horrors of the Holocaust through the eyes of an enlightened German and American History X confronted American racial violence through Edward Norton's reformed white supremacist. Movies like these tend to deify their protagonists, never investigating the complicated and often self-serving reasons for their change of heart. Instead, they convince audiences that inside of every callous, self-centered prick is a noble altruist waiting for an opportunity to emerge. All it takes is a little girl in a red coat or an Aryan rapist in the prison shower. Worse, they suggest that these tainted moral warriors possess a unique ability to right the wrongs of society. This explains why Clint Eastwood's righteous white male was the only person in Gran Torino who could effectively counter the gang violence that tormented his Hmong neighbors.

For the first two thirds of Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallée (Young Victoria) mostly sidesteps this kind of dramatic reductionism. When we first meet Ron Woodroof (a frighteningly gaunt Matthew McConaughey) he's backstage at a rodeo, snorting cocaine and screwing a pair of prostitutes.

It's the 1980s, and though he's bone-thin and wracked with a horrible cough, it's inconceivable to this manliest of cowboys that he's contracted HIV. When a doctor informs him that he's got full-blown AIDS, with a T-cell count in the single digits and a life expectancy of 30 days, his response is exactly what you'd expect.

“I ain’t no faggot, motherfucker,” Woodroof hisses at Dr. Saks (Jennifer Garner). “I don’t even know no faggots.”

A hard-partying racist and homophobe, one thing Ron is not is stupid. With the handwriting on the wall he gets educated about the disease and discovers that his prescribed treatment, AZT, offers little hope for survival. This leads Woodroof to Mexico, where he finds success with experimental treatments.

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus