I am late to this party, I know, but I just managed to go see Dallas Buyer’s Club tonight. If you have paid any attention to any of the awards shows, you know it has received all sorts of awards, including Oscars for both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. My husband and I have limited opportunities to see movies, but fortunately for me, my husband likes to see Oscar caliber movies and not just summer blockbusters. (Though of course we see those too when we can.)
Dallas Buyer’s Club is well worth watching for a lot of reasons. Matthew McConaughey’s Ron Woodruff was no hero in many ways, especially in the beginning, but there was something very compelling in his fight to stay alive.
Dr. Eve Saks: We can make you comfortable.
Ron Woodruff: What? Hook me up to the morphine drip, let me fade out? Nah. Sorry lady, I prefer to die with my boots on.
His story raises a lot of questions about the access to and regulation of treatments for disease, like HIV/AIDS, and spotlights how people with AIDS have been treated. His journey is well worth watching and Matthew McConaughey looks 100% the part of a dying man. Shockingly so at times.
But the moments that really grabbed me and truly broke my heart were the scenes with Jared Leto’s character, Rayon.
Rayon, I suppose, also tries not to die, but it seems through drug addiction and self loathing, he is fighting all sorts of losing battles. The scene where we see him go to his father, not as the transvestite he is, but wearing a suit that does not fit him, in more ways than one, will tear you apart. Or at least it did me. Then afterwards we see him, devastatingly thin, looking in the mirror and promising God (and himself) that when he meets God that he will finally be pretty. He looks in he mirror and you can feel the pain he finds there.
This is not what the movie is about. But it made me feel, it made me cry, and it made me hope for a better world where a father would never make his son feel unwanted and unloved. It made me want a better chance for him, and others like him, at more acceptance and more love. A world with less judgement, both of others and of ourselves.
As Ron says, “I’ve only got one life, I want it to mean something.”