***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY, HERE***
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Kevin Rankin, Steve Zahn.
Running Time: 117 minutes.
Synopsis: Hard living redneck Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) finds his morals and beliefs questioned when diagnosed as HIV-positive. Given thirty days to live, he teams up with transvestite, Rayon (Jared Leto), to help find an alternative to new drug on the block, AZT.
1985 Dallas was not the most accepting of places, with early mockery of “faggot” Rock Hudson’s death setting levels of Texan tolerance incredibly low. In the midst of the name-calling is electrician, Ron Woodroof, who, unbeknownst to him, will soon be subjected to the same taunts from those he calls friends. But this rude awakening sets the part-time rodeo rider on an unwavering path from homophobic bigot to tireless, accepting campaigner.
Woodroof’s debauched, drug-heavy antics lead to the odd blackout or two, but it’s only after an accident at work that the true reason behind them is revealed. After a spectacular outburst of denial, Ron buries his head in library book research, but cocaine-fuelled nights and trips to the strip club are still very much on the cards. Soon realising the American health service offers little more than AZT drug trials that may or may not see him beyond the projected thirty days, Ron begins smuggling untested cocktails of drugs for his physical – and financial – gain. Continue reading