Matthew McConaughey famously lost around 50 pounds to play the leading role in this rousing fact-based Aids drama.
By turns ornery, obnoxious, dogged, canny, brave and compassionate, McConaughey is mesmerising to watch.
Given 30 days to live after contracting Aids in 1985, his Texan good ‘ol boy, Ron Woodroof, goes from macho, womanising bigot to crusading entrepreneur, becoming an unlikely hero in the process.
He defies the doctors’ expectations of his demise and goes on to set up the buyers’ club of the title, allowing those with Aids to obtain life-extending but unlicensed drugs at a time when the authorities were dragging their heels over the crisis.
Presented as a stirring tale of underdog triumph, this is undoubtedly a simplified account of the actual events, but thanks to McConaughey’s compelling, Oscar-winning performance it really packs a punch.
His fellow Oscar-winner, Jared Leto, supplies humour and heart, and a flamboyant sense of style, as the transgender drug addict who helps Woodroof overcome his prejudices.