Dallas Buyers Club is set for greatness

The Dallas Buyers Club is out now in cinemas.
The Dallas Buyers Club is out now in cinemas.

Nominated for six Academy Awards, Dallas Buyers Club is a biopic of a hard-drinking Texan electrician, who refused to passively accept that his HIV-positive diagnosis in the mid 1980s was a death sentence.

Instead, Ron Woodroof smuggled a cocktail of unapproved drugs into America in direct defiance of his physician, who believed clinical trials were the only way to combat the virus.

Woodroof established a club to sell medications to other HIV-positive patients but his actions drew the attention of police and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which at that time took eight to 12 years to approve a new drug.

Ron didn’t have time on his side - doctors expected him to be dead within a month - so he bent the rules to stay alive.

Dallas Buyers Club doesn’t sugar-coat a bitter pill. Woodroof isn’t portrayed as a flawless, morally robust hero. McConaughey is mesmerising, shedding 40 pounds to convincingly portray the emaciated sandy-haired hustler. Screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack exercise some artistic licence but this does not detract from the emotional wallop of the film.