By Lou Lumenick. Photo: Anne Marie Fox/AP/Focus Features. Source:

Few screen actors have ever had a year as good as Matthew McConaughey, who follows up his bravura work as an escaped convict in “Mud” with a tour de force as an unforgettable if unlikely true-life Texan hero in Jean-Marc Vallée’s absorbing “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The film, which also contains a must-see performance by Jared Leto as a transsexual, portrays the almost unbelievable story of Ron Woodroof, a virulently homophobic electrician, rodeo rider and casual drug user, who becomes an unlikely AIDS activist after being diagnosed with HIV in 1985.

Given 30 days to live by the doctor (Denis O’Hare) who delivers the diagnosis, the emaciated Woodroof becomes a self-taught expert who obtains drugs on the black market. He travels to Mexico and other countries for treatments not then available in the United States.

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