The Oscar nominations have arrived. One prominent film, if for no reason other than it stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, is Dallas Buyers Club, which is nominated for best picture.
In Dallas Buyers Club McConaughey is an electrician from Texas who hangs out at rodeos. He drinks, dopes, and, to his misfortune, engages in random sex. The opening scene, inside a rodeo chute, does not turn out well for him. He’s infected with AIDS in the 1980s and is given 30 days to live. He decides he doesn’t want to be dead because he has a lot of partying left to do. While in the hospital he meets a gay AIDS victim (the MC character is not gay) played by actor/singer Leto. JL also does not want to go, but the doctors insist. Time is up.
The rest of the film is about the MM character fighting the disease and helping others to do so, by leaving the US and bringing in the drugs that were unavailable in the US at that time. MM starts the Dallas Buyers Club as a way to deliver the drugs, and he’s one of his own customers.
This film is also very uncomfortable to watch because of the subject and the depressing fates of the main characters. MM transforms himself physically, as well as delivering an incredible and Oscar-nominated performance. Leto is among the frontrunners for the Supporting Actor nomination, as he picked up the Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild awards. Regardless of if he wins or not, he deserves the recognition.
One film that should have been more prominent, because it stars Cate Blanchett, is Blue Jasmine. It picked up a Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay nod.
BJ is written and directed by Woody Allen. WA’s films of the 70s were among the funniest ever made. He even earned a best picture award for his La-di-dah film Annie Hall (1977). Then he turned serious and ultimately made films that were suicidal. BJ is a suicidal film. Only one character ends up actually suicidal, but just about every other character is a candidate. None more so than the CB in Blue Jasmine’s title role. Jasmine is her name. Blue is her mood. CB is transformed and at her best in the role of a woman of privilege and wealth who loses it all and is clueless as what to do about it. She takes pills and drinks a lot, but this doesn’t resolve her issues.
After the money is gone, she moves from her east coast mansion to San Francisco to live with her polar opposite sister. Both were, reportedly, adopted and ended up as opposite as can be. CB is sophisticated and stuck up. Her sister, played by Sally Hawkins, is low class and trashy. She goes from man to man – sometimes between drinks at parties. She has two children, but not a clue how to raise them. Once in SF, CB’s so-called life goes from bad to worse to monumentally disastrous. Not fun to watch, but CB is brilliant and has already gotten an Oscar nomination.
Both films are above average but adult in nature. Not recommended for anybody under 36.
Blue Jasmine rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons to remember Take the Money and Run.
Dallas Buyers Club rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons the film could have been called the New Orleans Buyers Club, since that’s where it was filmed.