I have - not a great movie with very obvious homophobia. The sterotypes are painted with a broad stroke.
I, myself, have not.
Salon.com discusses Jared Leto's performance:
"To be openly transgender in Dallas in 1985 – for that matter, almost anywhere in America that wasn’t San Francisco or lower Manhattan – required facing some degree of public hatred, and near-universal incomprehension, on a daily basis. Leto gives us a fully realized character who has confronted that without having her spirit crushed, but who along the way has internalized considerable damage.
"Rayon has a scene in a grocery store – really it’s just a single shot, with no lines – when she realizes that embittered, homophobic Ron has become her advocate, her defender and, most important, her friend, that utterly destroyed me."
Just saw it. Wasn't enamored of the movie or McConaughey, but Leto was extraordinary.
EW gave it a B, but praised McConaughey's and Leto's performances.
How does McC's character get AIDS- eating bad pussy?
Bad meat in the can.
I'm seeing it Thursday, at the Chelsea, I think.
I may sneak in after The Swarm.
OP, we already know that you are interested in our thoughts, hence the thread.
When you put "thoughts?" in your OPs, it's annoying.
I just saw it, and I think it's really one of the best AIDS films I've seen. McConaughey could very well win the Best Actor Oscar.
I really want to see it
It's the AIDS movie you've always wanted to see!
"McConaughey could very well win the Best Actor Oscar."
Because he can deliver a semi-competent performance? Is he gonna bathe if he gets it?
R13 I doubt you've seen the film because I can't imagine someone who's seen it would write off his performance as "semi-competent." He's electrifying.
Well, then obviously the director or editor deserves the Oscar.
I've seen it. McConaughey is brilliant, in my opinion. Whether he gets the Best Actor prize is up to the academy. They don't give oscars to roles like this. So he'll have to show up and prove he's a good sport.
They shouldn't take the oscars too seriously. They should look at the comments from Brando, George C. Scott and Woody Allen, to name just a few. Basically, it's a popularity contest.
friend of an oscar buff
He's a Republican. I don't like him anymore.
He vocally supported Obama, I don't know where you got that he was a Republican.
A movie about AIDS? Of course it doesn't interest the Datalounge circuit queen meth heads.
I saw the film on Saturday. McBongo (yeah I remember that nickname) is extraordinary. Just brilliant. Not an OUNCE of vanity or self-consciousness marring the performance.
Leto is wonderful too. His character is the MOST touching in the film. As good as McBongo is, his character is never really that likable. That could hurt his Oscar bid unfortunately.
Saw it over the weekend. As a film, it's not bad, but not great, either -- you can fell the creaks of the by-the-numbers script rather obviously. However, the performances are stellar and are what give the film its power; McConaughey gives one of his best performances and if Jared Leto doesn't win Best Supporting Actor, there's no justice -- he's phenomenally good.
For r6, it's indicated that McConaughey's character gets HIV from unprotected sex with a woman who was an intravenous drug user.
Terrible, TERRIBLE movie with good performances from Matthew & Leto. Am AIDS movie flyovers will love but a crapola piece of film making.
r25 = Pauline Kael.
I saw the movie this weekend. Very good movie well paced
and great acting all around especially by Matthew and Leto.
Matthew is definitely a lock for an Oscar nomination and a possible win.
And Leto should win for best supporting.
His performance was perfect.
Is mrs. Ben afflict an Oscar contender? I heard she's good in this.
r28, she's good, but not Oscar-worthy.
An AIDS movie with a straight protagonist is like a civil rights movie with a white hero.
Shut up, r22. There are plenty of reasons someone wouldn't (or shouldn't) be enamored with a movie about AIDS that acts like gay men were completely helpless until a straight savior to came along to save them.
I am seeing it Saturday morning at a bargain ($8.) matinee at the AMC Kips Bay and will report back here my findings.
There are still too many idiots today that believe Aids was still only a "gay cancer" and that straights were totally immune. Many fair arguments of why the conservative political administration and medical establishment were reluctant to actively respond on any level.
This is based on a true story so it's not like they chose for the character to be straight. He was straight and homophobic and this is a story about how AIDS made him an advocate and friend of the gays right?
This is a HIGHLY fictionalized version of the real story. The Jared Leto character is a complete work of fiction.
Yes, r36, and so is the Jennifer Garner character. Poor Jen, she was doing research about Woodruff and the period and couldn't find any mention of her character, so she called the director and he had to tell her the character was fiction.
Saw it today and the film was good but Leto was amazing. I echo the thought of an Oscar. MM was good but I found the character to be more or less yelling curse words for a good part of the the film. I see a potential nom but not sure of a win...
Saw it today. It's fine for what it is. The actors are good, as mentioned (I liked Leto's performance more than McConaughey's). A few things that bothered me:
All of McConaughey's friends with beards looked like the same person.
The perfect teeth on McConaughey. This character would not have such pearly whites.
The visible muscle definition on McConaughey and Leto when they show shots of their bodies. Yes, they were painfully thin, but you can tell that they're still in perfect shape even when emaciated. People that ill don't look like that.
Has anyone else seen this movie? Or is going to flop?
Well, I most certainly haven't!
Its studio is putting a hopeful spin about its success as it goes wider. Surely a picture for a niche market, but was pretty well-reviewed and will pick up a bunch of award nominations and wins.
>>Focus Features gave Dallas Buyers Club a big jump in theaters in the film’s fourth weekend and the film starring Matthew McConaughey held solid, grossing just under $2.8 million ($4,159 average).
>>Dallas, which is the final release under the tenure of James Schamus and Andrew Karpen, continued to draw audiences and the company noted its healthy expansion Sunday when reporting its numbers: “Dallas sustained its Friday to Saturday box office growth trend with a hefty 57% increase.
>>"The film successfully expanded into additional markets this weekend and continues to draw new audiences around the country; Dallas also sustained box office momentum in a very competitive marketplace with audiences in the holdover houses where it continues to play well.”
Dallas placed 10th in the overall box office for the weekend.
I saw it this weekend and thought it was good, not great. I expected to be in tears by the end but it held its (and my) emotions in check (except a little bit during one death scene.)
I rate it at about the same level as All Is Lost. Both prestige pictures but do they have legs?
I really liked the film. The performances are amazing. I do not like how it ends--rather abruptly. i was hoping for a better ending, but I do see some Oscar nods in acting coming out of this film.
Straight actors, director, writer and producer portraying straight white guy who saves a bunch of homos, oh, wait he didn't, because those drugs then didn't work.
r46, that's not quite an accurate description of the movie. And the second lead character, Rayon, was gay, gay, gay.
The straight white guy was trying to save [italic]himself[/italic] and wound up helping a lot of other people, but he didn't do it alone nor did he do it for altruistic or humanitarian reasons.
Well, R47 is right and remember, it was a true story. Unfortunately, this takes place in the period of 185-87, and we all know who was President and how much attention AIDS got. This story begins right about the time Rock Hudson had gone to France for a last ditch effort to secure treatment that would prolong his life. I took the movie at face value. It was the story of one person.
I had a question. The first time MM's character goes to Mexico looking for some doctor, he collapses and ends up in the doctor's clinic. It's a complete slum, almost looks like a bootleg operation, which it probably was.
Did Matthew & the Doctor partner up and have an arrangement that Matthew sold drugs, and the Doc and his clinic shared profits?
I saw it today. You can nitpick about it all you want, but it was an entertaining movie with some very fine performances.
McConaughey and Leto should get Oscar noms for it.
I went on Wednesday saw it and loved it. I expect Matthew to be nominated for an Oscar. Yes, IMHO it was that good. Yes plenty on stereotypes, and if you are sensitive to gay slurs stay away.
Afterwards I snuck into see Philomena, another great movie that shockingly also has a storyline about AIDS. Dench should also be nominated for an Oscar.
Two great movies for 8.50!
What R49 said
Saw it today and thought MM and Leto were both extraordinary. I think Leto will win Best Supporting Actor, and I think McConaughey will be nominated for Best Actor, no question about it. It was never boring, and I liked that the sentimentality wasn't turned up to 11.
I think Robert Redford will win Best Actor.
I saw it today and just loved it. It is not a sentimental movie. It's not a movie about heroism. And it's about AIDS as much as Breaking Bad is about meth. It's a story about one person. And Matthew really gives an astounding performance, the best I've seen from an actor in a very long time. I had no idea really what the movie was about so I was shocked and surprised by the unexpected turn of events, and that's what makes a good movie. Jared Leto gives a fantastic performance too. It's a very old-fashioned character in the lines of Kiss of the Spider Woman, but this does take place in the 80's and I think his portrayal is honest to the time and place.
I was transported, moved and highly entertained. See it if only for Matthew and Jared.
[quote] It was never boring, and I liked that the sentimentality wasn't turned up to 11.
I agree with you, and that's why I liked it. I remember hearing complaints about The Pianist because of the lack of sentimentality. Life isn't always sentimental. Sometimes you just have to do what you can to survive.
I didn't love it. it didn't seem like it knew what it wanted to be. Was it about a homophobic man's understanding the humanity that runs through all of us? Was it about the nature of friendships? Was it about how one man can fight the FDA? Was it about not giving up when everyone says you should? If it had taken a firmer point of view and didn't try to be everything, I think it would have been more effective. As it were, I left the movie thinking that the acting was superb, but I had no idea what the director wanted me to feel or know as a result of seeing the movie.
It brought back some painful memories of the 80s. Though the film itself isn't a masterpiece, the performances by McBongo and Leto are absolutely stunning. Leto could so easily have indulged in an OTT performance, playing a diva to the rafters, but his Rayon is a gentle, wounded soul who manages to touch the heart of even a homophobic asshole like Ron Woodroof. I liked the lack of sentimentality which would have robbed the story of its power.
Didn't get the hype about Mud, McConaughey is definitely overrated. In the trailer for this movie it looks like he doing his same try hard acting. Leto looks believable and interesting though. Garner - I just have to close my eyes, she is beyond off putting.
r57 says, don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.
Not the movie that was needed. Really, of all the stories about folks who found a way to combat the FDA's war against gay men, the lens that gets chosen is some straight homophobe from Texas that kind of (maybe) learns the error of his ways?
Make him a queer activist from ACT UP in SF or NY circa 1989 and I'll be interested.
Otherwise, it's just straight people trying to feel OK because they did enough.
While the performances were good, this movie was very much "thank you straight guy for saving all us queeny gays."
This is the story that needs to be told out of the AIDS crisis? Really?
Judging from this thread: people who haven't seen the movie hate it and people who have seen the movie love it...
"While the performances were good, this movie was very much "thank you straight guy for saving all us queeny gays.""
No, it doesn't - not even vaguely. Woodroof was out for himself. It is accentuated that he wanted to help himself and if he could make a buck out of the gay community, he was willing to help them too. Woodroof is not portrayed as anybody's saviour - just as a desperate man in desperate times, a hustler who became a decent man almost against his will.
Jared Leto's character is a fictional character that was simply invented by the filmmakers to develop a story for the movie.
r59, thank you.
[quote]Not the movie that was needed.
Whose fault is it that after 30 years, "The Normal Heart" is going to be a TV movie, albeit a very good one, no doubt?
The movie was too good for most of you. Save your money and see Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.
[quote]Not the movie that was needed. Really, of all the stories about folks who found a way to combat the FDA's war against gay men, the lens that gets chosen is some straight homophobe from Texas that kind of (maybe) learns the error of his ways? Make him a queer activist from ACT UP in SF or NY circa 1989 and I'll be interested.
But that wasn't the story the filmmakers decided to tell. This was a different story from a different perspective. Why don't you get over yourself and understand that AIDS affected millions of people, each with different stories to tell?
Personally, I don't want to see another AIDS drama that played ad nauseum at indy theaters in Chelsea the 90's. This was a different perspective about a real person who was affected by AIDS.
Jesus fucking Christ can't gay people see issues beyond their own sexuality? You probably vote only on the issue of gay marriage too, don't you?
Can't we disagree about something without reducing the argument to ad hominem attacks?
R65 is right. As a gay man, I am a bit embarrassed at how some of you act and how it always has to be about the gay gay gay. I'm a man who just happens to be gay. It's not my entire existence. Some of you are scary fanatics.
Jared Leto being interviewed on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show, right now!
I saw it this weekend. I didn't care for the movie, however I think Jared Leto gave an Oscar worthy performance. McBongo was good but not great. His physical transformation was amazing though.
The movie could have been better but McBongo and Leto gave Oscar worthy performances.
And yes, what R67 said.
Leto just won the New York Film Critics best supporting actor with Robert Redford winning Best Actor (ahem.. All is Lost is boring as hell but I guess everybody's afraid they won't have Redford around much longer).
Saw it today. I think MM has a very real chance at winning the Oscar. Aside from his giving an excellent performance, his physical transformation was amazing. He's almost unrecognizable.
Jared Leto was extraordinary, easily the best performance in the film and one of the best of the year, if not THE best.
But the film really does hit home the hetero guy saving the homos angle too hard. A gay couple practically worship him and when they give him a house, it's framed to help HIM, not to help the cause of getting meds out to victims. There are numerous scenes of Woodroof being a manly hetero guy having manly hetero sex, and I felt it was entirely to make sure the audience knows he's not gay.
The fact that this story was chosen rather than the story of any gay or lesbian people who helped during the AIDS crisis says it all: They wanted a story with a hetero protagonist.
Also, who comes to a thread on DL where there's discussion about a film but then calls that discussion "nitpicking" anyway?
Just get tired of people rewriting history in films. If it's not interesting enough without inventing characters or re-writing them then why do it? (I'm still thinking back to Beautiful Mind.)
r73 - I'm with r65 to the degree that the movie you wanted to see was not the story they told. There have been lots of movies about gay men living with and dying of AIDS. This was a different story. There's enough room for this one and more.
I would like to see a compelling movie using a story the many lesbians stepped up and took care of their gay friends. But that's another movie.
Actually, the story of Gay men getting AIDS and dying, and the government ignoring it, has been told. I think it's important to remind the world that AIDS isn't "the Gay disease." You'd be surprised at how many people still associate AIDS with Gays exclusively. Even after all this time.
I had no problem with the movie's perspective. It was a true story, and it shed light on a phenomenon that occurred back then with these buyers clubs, and the fact that, essentially, the Government used all it's enforcement powers thru any agencies it had, to block access to drugs that would save lives, in order to profit from ones that were lethal.
FBI FDA, IRS Customs, etc. the full weight of the government was focused on stopping people from getting help. That's what I got out of the movie. I can't recall any other AIDS related movie telling that story.
Actually, this wasn't a true story. It was vaguely based on a true story, with several significant characters and most of the actual plot made up out of whole cloth. Woodroof's story only forms the foundation of this film.
I'm just not seeing an equal number of high profile, big budget films on the AIDS crisis that focus on GLBTs so I don't buy the "it's already been done" argument. What else has there been? Philadelphia was 20 years ago.
It also doesn't make much sense to me to say the film was necessary because it showed this wasn't a gay-only crisis. Surely that's been covered extensively in myriad treacly films about cute little kids who got HIV or strong AIDS-stricken women who fight the system. Those were popular in the 1990s and I think got the point across just fine.
So, since this film wasn't all that fact-based, and since we already as a society knew HIV wasn't a something that only affects gays, we have to ask ourselves what the point of this film was. To me, it felt like an anti-Big Pharma film that couldn't help but wallow in the so-called irony that a hetero guy was infected. It's too bad the parallels between Big Pharma and Woodroof selling drugs to gay men he obviously loathed were mostly sidestepped.
Sure, the extraordinary amount of hetero sex scenes and the nude women pix he had taped to the walls and his constant talk about sex with women spoke to his character, and I suspect some of it was titillation for the audience, too. But there was SO MUCH of it that after the first hour I could not shake the feeling that the film was overselling the "don't forget he's hetero" angle. Maybe they were playing up the irony of someone who (gasp!) isn't gay getting HIV, which isn't much better.
r77 - Dallas Buyers Club's budget was $5 million. That's not a lot these days. Hell, the budget for Philadelphia was $26 million and that was 20 years ago.
I know Rayon wasn't a real person but used as a literary device to tell the story of his arc from being a total homophobic asshole to someone who learned compassion. Yes, like most rednecks, they don't learn it until it happens to them. But that's what makes drama.
What else was made up whole cloth? From what I've read, the story is essentially true.
As for the sex part, he was a randy guy in real life. It didn't feel over-the-top to me that he was confused and angry that he could no longer do something he was very into before his diagnosis.
And I couldn't really tell, but didn't the movie imply he got HIV from an encounter with a man?
Those of you who don't think the film told the "right" story are free to fund any story you want told.
[quote]And I couldn't really tell, but didn't the movie imply he got HIV from an encounter with a man?
Hell no, he's no faggot. He has a flash back and remembers screwing some broad that was a druggie, she had obvious track marks.
Thanks r80 - it was going fast and I couldn't really process what was going on.
That scene in the supermarket where MM defends JL's honor was fucking embarrassing. This movie is garbage.
Unfortunately, I did not think the movie was very good. It is too unfocused. They waste so much time making sure that the MM character is straight that by the time the movie starts we are already very bored.
I did not even think that MM was that good. Weight loss does not a good performance make. I did not see an ounce of honesty….sorry. Jared Leto was heartbreaking and perfection, though. SPOILER: the scene at the bank was very touching.
Agreed, r83. The scene at the bank was absolutely devastating, perfectly performed by Leto. He should win the Oscar for that scene alone.
I thought it was excellent. Matthew M. was magnetic in a role perfect for him. I was sort of annoyed at the Jared Leto character- but considering he was based on a real person most likely made it better. I did not recognize Jared Leto until the credits, but he played it without real distinction. It was a real by the books tranny acting job. I expected little and found the whole thing compelling.