Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writer(s): Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto
Awards: Won Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 2014 Palms Springs International Film Festival
A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence.
His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner).
An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron’s lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a “buyers club,” where HIV positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron’s pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before.