Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writers: Craig Borten (screenplay), Melisa Wallack (screenplay)
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
This is loosely-based on a Texas electrician/rodeo rider (Matthew McConaughey) who contracted AIDS in the mid-80s and struggled to smuggle alternative treatments for fighting his and many others’ illness. In setting up his “club,” his homophobia is challenged when he partners with a trans character (Jared Leto). The story unfolds at a steady pace, but it’s really about the two leads.
McConaughey imbues his character with much of the swagger typical of his personality, but manages to show emotion once or twice. It’s Leto who completely transforms himself into a sweet, sensitive woman and creates the film’s most poignant peaks. The movie is a bit too long and repetitive in the setbacks, but it still manages to tell the story effectively with award-potential performances.
GAY ANGLE: There’s a fleeting glimpse of both men in their extreme weight-loss skin, but it’s Leto’s sensitive “woman” that really gets the attention.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.