Exercice réalisé dans le cadre de l’atelier Ciné anglais (thank you Michael ! J )
The 2014 Oscars ceremony took place last Saturday evening and awarded Jean-Marc Vallée's film, Dallas Buyers Club, twice for its actors – Best actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best supporting actor for Jared Leto – and also for its Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
The two actors received the same awards at the last Golden Globes, and Matthew McConaughey got the Premio per la migliore interpretazione maschile (Best actor) at the Festa Internazionale di Roma 2013 (International Film Festival of Rome) last November.
The awards, like films in general, reflect expectations of their time. And our current era, whether we like it or not, is definitely a time for acting ‘performance’!
Jean-Marc Vallée is not a beginner as a director and already drew the attention for C.R.A.Z.Y. in 2005 and Café de Flore in 2011.
This time, he sets the action of his movie in Dallas, Texas, in the late 80’s, choosing to disclose the true story of a straight man, Ron Woodroof, who is being diagnosed with AIDS, given only 30 days to live and who refuses to accept that diagnosis.
That man's daily life, made of frequent, random and brutal sexual intercourse, illegal substances and alcohol, rodeo and work (as an electrician), suddenly HAS TO change.
Ron understands quite rapidly that the only available treatment in the US at the time (AZT) makes him feel worse than he should. He therefore starts smuggling unapproved pharmaceuticals into Texas, distributing them to sick fellows by establishing the "Dallas Buyers Club" with Rayon, a transgender patient, while facing opposition from the administration.
You initially sincerely dislike the man, but thanks to the performance of the lead actor, you get used to his world by the end of the film. It is reasonable to say that he has a long walk to redemption, but you get to understand that he made tremendous efforts to reach the place where he stands at the end of the movie.
I got concerned by such a physical metamorphosis, which could make people think for instance of Christian Bale (The machinist, 2005) or Michael Fassbender (Hunger, 2008).
Indeed, how can such a part not have an impact on an actor for different reasons (first of them being health), no matter how gifted he is? I understand that professionalism implies distance, but still, to me it goes a wee bit too close to the shores of real danger.
Jared Leto, starring Rayon, Ron's transsexual closest companion in misfortune (there is a huge gap between the scene of their encounter at the hospital and the one at the supermarket), also lost a lot of weight for the movie and is barely recognizable under his make-up and women’s clothes.
The direction, editing and sounds are nervous, masculine, impatient, perfectly matching the lead character.
It is a detail but I liked the idea of the echoing and piercing sounds (tinnitus?) whenever Ron was about to lose consciousness or felt pain.
The director evokes through the story of this film the first treatments aimed at fighting the disease, the attempts made in order to improve them (for better and worse). These attempts are shown through the eyes of the patients (Ron and Rayon in the first place) who often see no other choice than being guinea pigs, those of the medical staff (through the likeable roles of Jennifer Garner and Griffin Dunne), the industry and last but not least those of the FDA (Federal Drug Administration).
The violence of Ron’s character, words and behaviour (apparently not entirely inspired from the real Ron Woodroof, among others his being that homophobic) is at the heart of the film and shapes its peculiar rhythm (image and sound). Nevertheless, despite the socio-historical contributions of the story, it might have held back or discouraged part of the audience.
commenter cet article