Lose the weight and gain the cred - it certainly worked for the likes of Christian Bale (The Machinist) and Michael Fassbender (Hunger). But Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar-winning emaciation for the role of AIDS sufferer Ron Woodroof is particularly gruelling, reducing the former sunkissed prettyboy to a moustachioed skeleton in a stetson hat.
By shedding those trademark pecs McConaughey has gone more naked than ever, stripping down to the raw centre to play a bigoted redneck whose world of rodeo beers and skanky sexual encounters comes crashing down the day he learns he has the virus. Soon smuggling in unlicensed pills from Mexico in an effort to stay alive, the human drama of Dallas Buyers Club unfurls before a David and Goliath backdrop, as Woodroof begins selling the drugs to fellow AIDS-sufferers who have all eschewed the state-sanctioned but woefully ineffective medication AZT.
Preachifying against big pharmaceuticals aside, what moves is the performances, with McConaughey lent impassioned support by Jared Leto, heartbreaking as transgender drug addict Rayon.
Dallas Buyers Club will screen at the Dunamaise, Wednesday, June 4, at 8pm.