Dallas Buyers Club ★★★

Dallas Buyers Club is fine in every way: directing, acting, original screenplay, etc. But it occupies a weird space: it’s a bit Oscar-baity, while also resisting that. The film always reminds us that the protagonist is a homophobic misogynist selling medicine for self-preservation and to make a profit. But we know he’s going to change, we’re asked to cheer for him, while recognizing his moral shortcomings. It’s not melodramatic enough to cheesily manipulate my heart-strings like The Butler. Nor is it subversively interesting like rooting for Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. It tries to be both. Still, an interesting character study, and a pretty scathing indictment of the corporate-pharmaceutical-government complex.

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