About four or five years ago, I couldn’t imagine being excited about a Matthew McConaughey film but then came his McConaissance and on the back of tremendous performances in the likes of Killer Joe, Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street, he’s quickly becoming one of my favourite actors of recent times. I still can’t believe it. His latest provides us with perhaps his finest performance to date and accompanies a terrific film which instantly becomes one of my favourites of the young year.
Based on a true story, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a Texan rodeo cowboy come electrician who enjoys women, beer, drugs, women and women. Having been obviously sick for a while, he is taken to hospital and when wakes, is given the shocking news that he has HIV. This being mid 1980s Texas, Woodroof is, shall we say, taken aback by the news but more worried about accusations that he’s homosexual or ‘faggot’ as he rather ineloquently puts it. After denial and some research plus a stint in a hospital south of the border, Ron discovers that he can help himself and fellow HIV patients by smuggling unapproved medicine into the USA, a decision that puts him on a collision course with the FDA and the American Justice Department.