Dallas Buyers Club
Dir. Jean-Marc Vallée. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner. Special Presentation. STC. 117 min. Sept. 7, 10 p.m., Princess of Wales Theatre; Sept. 8, 11 a.m., Elgin Theatre.
You might think that dropping nearly 50 pounds for a role might rob Matthew McConaughey of his usual bravado, but the brah’s brah has no shortage in Dallas Buyers Club. He’s nearly matched in that regard by director Jean-Marc Vallée, who brings great verve and only a minimum of sentiment to the true-life tale of Ron Woodruff, an HIV-positive Texan electrician and hetero horndog who became one of the least likely fighters in the years-long battle between AIDS sufferers and the FDA over unapproved drug treatments. Though the subject matter inevitably seems a little sexed-up and contrived compared to recent docs like How to Survive a Plague, Vallée rarely wastes an ounce of McConaughey’s ever-piquant gusto.