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Archive for the ‘Jared Leto’ Category

Dallas Buyers Club

14 Dec

Dallas Buyers Club – directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Docudrama . A rogue cowboy discovers he has a fatal disease and ventures to defy law and save fellow sufferers. 116 minutes Color 2013.

★★★★★

Some actors are despicable: Jack Palance, Shelly Winters, Miriam Hopkins, Richard Widmark, Robert Mitchum, Jessica Lange, Christian Bale. Humorless bullies all.

Matthew McConaughey stands tall in this category. There is no actor whose appearance in a film I more wish to avoid. A slivery egomania rules in him with imperious ease.  A smug cologne, unquestioned and rank, the attar of this assurance wafts about him.

He is dreadful looking, with fatal dimples, tiny teeth, and the most beautiful and seductive male speaking voice since Charles Boyer. He is worse than a rogue; he is a bounder. To be in his screen presence is to break out in a rash. He threatens to make one believe in evil.

He is one of those persons who stumble into acting and make a great success. This so rarely happens, it becomes legend, so we think if it can happen to Gary Cooper, it may happen to anyone. But legends are never common.

And what is not common about Matthew McConaughey is that, apparently and even so, he has discovered the craft of acting for himself. That is not an easy thing for a big star to do. Robert Mitchum never did it, nor did Gary Cooper.

But McConaughey is a person of enormous intelligence. Or maybe it would be better to call it smartness. After all, he’s a Texan. And in Texas intelligence means horse-sense. And horse-sense means a practical grasp of life as it is actually lived. What does an actor of his cheap effect do once his romantic appeal gets stale?

Mud was an example of this actor taking on the task of dropping out of the category of leading man and entering into the category of character lead. Going somewhere beneath or other-than his masher forte, he entered us into an arena of acting into which one never in a million years expected him to venture. What a revelation!

Of course, this switch may have happened more slowly with him: one sees but the sudden result: films take years to generate: his change may have been long pondered: this may have happened less suddenly in films of his I have not seen.

In the present film we see a character bodied forth who also took long planning, since the actor had to emaciate himself by 47 pounds or a quarter of his body weight to play it. He plays a hero, but is never noble, always the ornery cuss. Miss him play it in peril of the cultivation of your soul.

In the past, McConaughey has been the tray of despicableness on which the part was presented to us. In Dallas Buyers Club he takes that tray of despicableness in both his conscious hands and presents it and all that is on it to us as an offering of human truth.

It is wonderful to see an actor discover the great and dangerous craft of acting.

 
 
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