DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
hopscotchee: matthew mcconaughey score: 76.5 rating: R time: 117 minutes
okay, duh, we're not gonna be the first ones to tell you that dallas buyers club is a stellar movie. we just can't be. it's impossible. this movie came out nearly a decade ago in 2013, and was winning 'em oscars and guild awards all while we were still trying to figure out how to open a locker and adjust to middle school. cringy, yes, and also unfortunate cuz we can't change that. we're sad to have to tell you that we're not time-travellers OR in contact with theo james either. so, we're just gonna have to be the last ones to tell you how stellar the movie is. it's a doozie fact that we're just gonna have to deal with. however, they say always save the best for last, so we're also just gonna have to make sure we're the ones to tell you the best while we're at it, and we think we can live with that.
undoubtedly, the first thing we need to be the last to tell you about is our fellow texan, the one and only, icon, mr. matthew mcconaughey. whether you pronounce it mc-conah-HEY or mc-conah-GEE, it doesn't matter, because this. wasn't. matthew!! what? "but it literally says his name on the poster, twins??" yes, but you see, as fellow texans, the knowledge that 'crazy uncle matthew' is just living it up in austin is something you get told at a young age as if it's a fact in a text-book. (btw he's not technically our uncle, but he's like every texan's uncle just to keep you up-to-date in the texas loopy-loop). the point is, when we first started watching matthew mcconaughey movies, it was always difficult to really see him as the character because of all of our 'crazy uncle matthew' memories, PARTICULARLY the naked-matthew-playing-the-bongos-on-pot-and-getting-arrested memory. like, it's a really hard memory of him to shake when you're supposed to be watching him as some put-together-business-man. like, no!! BUT, that said, to our GREAT surprise, when we flipped on dallas buyers club, it wasn't 'crazy uncle matthew' again!! honestly quite celebratory, this was the first movie where matthew wasn't matthew. pop the bubbly!! and if you're not from texas and like, "good for you, twins, but he's always not-matthew for me", can we at least agree that in this movie, he really, really wasn't matthew?? like, we're not even talking the committed weight loss for the character which was already like WHOA (hashtag aly and aj), but the aggression and vulnerability he balanced constantly on a thin line was so unstably controlled which made his performance very engaging and entertaining to watch. what can we say, we're proud of you, uncle.
okay, jeez, we can feel ya chomping at the bit - are they going to mention leto? are they going to mention leto? the answer to that is, yes. however, for obvious reasons, we're not gonna talk about his acting and instead going to talk about him while giving all the props to the make-up department. like, if there was a true star of the movie, it was this team. absolutely fire!! aside from just having to transform healthy actors into aids-victims in the first place, they had to ALSO freakin' transition jared leto from subjectively hunky jordan catalono to objectively beautiful queen. and like, jared might get all the praise for fully committing to his unrecognizable roles (and at this point in his career it is no surprise, he had already done chapter 27 where he gained 70 pounds for the character and, after dallas buyers club, he'd go on to play the joker in suicide squad), but can we please appreciate the talent behind the talent?? movie's don't typically last more than (at max) 3 hours, but a make-up artist will spend up to up to 8 hours a DAY to create a character. and if you still don't think that's more impressive than an actor, imagine what your favorite film would be like if none of the characters had their make up done or custom-costumes, and the actors just performed in whatever they rolled up to set wearing.
lastly, the last thing we need to be the last to tell you is about the editing. starting off the film very unique right from the get-go, the editor's decision to hone in on tight shots added another layer of characterization
to the atmosphere along with the sets, make-up, and music by breaking the status quo. typically, in most cases, an exterior or master shot are likely to start off a movie due to a wide shot's ability to capture the audience's awareness easier and suck them into the setting right away. this is also why usually before cutting to a new scene (if the scene is in a new location), you'll see a wide shot with maybe a voice over already starting the conversation between the characters inside, so you understand what and where things are happening. it's not just because they're like 'pretty sky', we promise you. anyway, all this to say that this film's decision and teamwork between the dop (director of photography - the person who plans out the shots) and editor (chopper of clips) was strategized seamlessly and compellingly to tell a different story that was told in a different way from what was being pumped out in 2013 (man of steel, the great gatsby, american hustle, hunger games: catching fire).
it was this bold uniqueness that was universally involved throughout every aspect in the film that made it stand out the way it did in 2013 and still does in 2022.
so, to wrap this up, dallas buyers club was a stellar movie.
-- thanks, crazy uncle matthew xo