Among my friends, I receive a lot of flack for rejecting films based on their “moral” content. I guess that’s just Classical Hollywood indoctrinated deep within me, in addition to being raised in the Bible belt. You better believe I will loathe a film based on the amount of sex, drugs, swearing, and violence. Dallas Buyers Club tested my patience in some ways, but I feel like the overarching narrative was brilliant and, therefore, I really enjoyed it. The film confronts many issues our society, unfortunately, still struggles with in terms of awareness and comprehension of HIV/AIDS by placing the matter in its American historical context in the 1980s. There is an unsettling air about the film, but only because it stirs feelings about the issues many refuse to face. If something doesn’t directly touch our lives, it is easy to shove it under the rug and remain ignorant. I found Dallas Buyers Club both educating and emotional — it asks the questions society should ask about preconceived notions, not just about the disease but people in general.
I will state, without reservation, that I believe both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were brilliant in their performances. One will surely take home the Golden Boy, but I believe it will be the Best Supporting Actor category. Jared Leto as Rayon was phenomenal. There has been controversy with a non transgender actor portraying a transgender character, but I, personally, feel Leto was perfect for the role. The key to acting is convincing the audience you are something you’re not. Neither actor has HIV/AIDS, yet I was convinced they wanted to live and to help others in the narrative. In addition to convincing the audience, relating to the character you’re portraying is important and I feel Leto was sensitive to the role and he made me hurt for Rayon and her struggles. In my opinion, Leto deserves the Oscar. McConaughey is up against the usual Academy Award politics and I thought he was great, but I’m still pulling for Bruce Dern in Nebraska.
The 86th Academy Awards are fast approaching and I will be attempting to watch Blue Jasmine and American Hustle before the big day. Expect a combined blog on both films, as well as a separate blog with my complete Academy Award predictions. In the meantime, if you have not participated in Panhandle PBS’ Oscar Poll, I urge you to click HERE and vote! If you haven’t seen the films, do it anyway and feel free to comment with your current opinions and feelings about this year’s Academy Award nominations.