DARE TO LIVE.
In 1985, homophobic electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live; after finally accepting the truth, he looks for ways to get around strict FDA rules. It took seven years for AIDS to finally kill the real-life Woodroof and in the meantime his elaborate drug-smuggling ring proved the FDA wrong. A great story told with passion and a sense of humor, even if aspects of Woodroof’s friendship with a transsexual have a ring of soap opera to it. Immensely elevated by the performances of McConaughey and Jared Leto, barely recognizable as the emaciated patients who become unlikely partners.
2013-U.S. 117 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Screenplay: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack. Editing: Jean-Marc Vallée, Martin Pensa. Cast: Matthew McConaughey (Ron Woodroof), Jennifer Garner (Eve Saks), Jared Leto (Rayon), Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Michael O’Neill… Griffin Dunne.
Trivia: At earlier stages, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling were allegedly considered for the part of Woodroof; at one point, Dennis Hopper was set to direct with Woody Harrelson in the lead.
Oscars: Best Actor (McConaughey), Supporting Actor (Leto), Makeup and Hairstyling. Golden Globes: Best Actor (McConaughey), Supporting Actor (Leto).
Last word: “I wasn’t sure about Matthew at first. Mr. The Most Handsome Man With Muscles? Then I met him and found a man who really wanted to change perceptions and have new challenges in his career. […] The first week, I said, ‘I’m going to commit suicide, I’m directing a stupid, big and bold film.’ I wanted stillness, and Matthew’s into movement. I’m ‘less is more,’ and they were ‘more is more.’ [But] “they were f—ing right! I found the balance, so ‘more is more’ doesn’t look stupid and too much. And Matthew told me, ‘Jean-Marc, Texas is movement.’ He was my Texas 101 class teacher.” (Vallée, The Hollywood Reporter)