Dallas Buyers Club is based on a true story. In 1985, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with AIDS and is given one month to live. At first, he adamantly refuses to accept the diagnosis and begins a journey that results in his smuggling unapproved medications into the US and selling them to other AIDS patients. He meets many interesting characters along the way, one of whom is Rayon, (a transgender woman who is played brilliantly by Jared Leto). Jennifer Garner also stars in this film that gives an interesting look at the early days of HIV and AIDS research and treatment. It was good.
Bruce Dern plays an aging alcoholic who believes that he's won a million dollars in Nebraska. Woody sets out to walk from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his prize. His wife Kate (June Squibb) enlists the help of their son David (Will Forte) to try and talk some sense into the old man. This movie is funny (especially June Squibb's performance) and quirky. It's a must see. I really liked it.
Will Ferrell speaks Spanish in Casa de mi Padre; so, the movie is sub-titled. It's a cheesy movie - on purpose - about a guy who has to save his father's property after his brother gets mixed up with a drug cartel. Gael Garcia Bernal also stars in this film. It was alright.
Of the now three movies co-written and co-directed by Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater, I like Before Midnight the best. The dialogue is still wordy and the characters are a little self-aware, but less so than in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Also, there are more characters that help move the story along in this one. The film picks up nine years after Before Sunset leaves off. The two are now together and are on vacation in Greece with their family. It was pretty good.
August: Osage County is not a feel-good, happy movie, but it is an entertaining movie none-the-less. Meryl Streep stars as Violet Weston, the matriarch of a highly dysfunctional family of strong women. Violet is undergoing treatment for mouth cancer and is hooked on drugs. Her husband, an alcoholic poet, takes off and the family gathers around her for support. It doesn't take long until the sniping begins. This dark comedy is a juicy story executed by a talented group of actors - including Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper and Sam Shepard - just to name a few. I really liked it.
I've seen several movies now on the road to the Oscars and American Hustle is one of my favorites so far. Set in the late 1970s to early 1980s, the story follows two small time con artists who are busted by an FBI agent. They soon join him to catch some bigger fish in exchange for not getting into big trouble. Their caper was nicknamed Abscam - sound familiar? The cast is phenomenal - Amy Adams (love that girl), Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and an uncredited appearance by Robert De Niro. It was really good.
Three more to go!