Author: M. G.
In September we wrote about the presentation of Dallas Buyers Club at the Toronto Film Festival 2013. Today we are happy to announce that Matthew McConaughey, protagonist of the movie, won the Golden Globe for the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.
Forbes has defined McConaughey as the most interesting actor of the year. In fact, he was able to change his image as an actor completely from being ‘on the road to mellow stoner romantic comedy' to winning an award with a movie based on a true story about the HIV epidemic.
The Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film went to the Italian movie ‘La Grande Bellezza' (The Great Beauty) by Paolo Sorrentino, one of my favourite directors ever.
I don't want to talk too much about the plot of these movies, there is no point in doing it, you have to watch them to understand.
I just want to talk about what these two films have in common: both protagonists are far from being the good, handsome, gentle main characters we're used to seeing in ‘main stream' movies. These are the stories of ugly people in a world that is even worse than them, so why do they award these stories?
It's not difficult: we have a lot to learn from anti-heroes and their lives, it doesn't matter if their stories are true or just the invention of a director or screenwriter. A movie will always be ‘just' a fake story that you believe to be true for a couple of hours of your life. The more distant from you the point of view of a movie is, the more you can learn from it.
The difficult part of the game is to make you watch the movie from the beginning to the end. Considering Dallas Buyers Club and The Great Beauty, I think that irony was the key: the strategy was just to find a way to make fun of these people and their tragic story, while being respectful at the same time.
The social consequences of the HIV epidemic are as deep as those of corruption of people living at the highest level of society - that's the main theme in The Great Beauty. These consequences can be of any kind: some of them are prejudice, injustice and inequality, superficiality, poverty... From these conditions you can just expect the creation of ‘monsters', of something that is basically wrong in your perception, far from the common values that pop culture is usually about. This doesn't mean that these monsters aren't as real as the pop culture is, therefore you must know them, you can't ignore them and you should act up to change the conditions that created them.
The movie industry has a big responsibility in shaping what pop culture is and what the flow of opinions in society are and these two projects took this responsibility seriously -and they are now enjoying the benefits of this choice.