Dallas Buyers Club is the real-life story of Ron Woodroof; A Dallas electrician and rodeo cowboy who’s risky lifestyle found him faced with HIV. This story tells of his struggle to get effective medication for himself and other HIV infected people and his battles with the government and health care over approval and access.

Story: It is a tough story. It’s hard to rate the value/quality/significance of this story because it’s about life and death. It’s about knowing you have a death sentence… knowing that the mediation you’re being given is not working and having no champions.

The writers did a phenomenal job of conveying the struggle. Woodroof refuses to accept that he is HIV+ at first, but, once he realizes that it’s real, there is a desperation in his actions that comes through the screen. Every moment of this story feels at alarm level – like its life or death.

Performances: Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof and Jared Leto plays Rayon, an HIV+ transvestite who team up despite their differences to battle the disease and the system. Both are nominated for Oscars and from what I’ve seen, both just might win.

While I have other stories and characters I like better for Oscars, these two performances stand out in a different way.

Visual: This is an element that is critical to the authenticity of this story. The backdrop of Texas in the middle 1980’s is just that; A backdrop. The gaunt look of Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof is the visual. The over-done campiness of Jared Leto as Rayon is the visual. The bags of pills Woodroof has to smuggle into the country from Mexico is the visual for this movie.

Rating: This is not a feel good film. This is a hard story to watch, but, the truth is often very stark. And like I said at the beginning of this review, it’s so hard to rate, but, the best I can do is give it an A-. It is what it is. That rating is for having the courage to tell this story.

See it if you want to know why this film and its actors are nominated for Academy Awards.