Grace to Mia:
1. Did you know much about the history behind the story before you saw the movie?
I did not. I saw that it takes place in Dallas and I’m from Dallas so I thought why not.
2. Though we know the events were dramatized, how true do you feel the portrayal of doctors at the time and the CDC were?
From talking with my friends who are actually in the medical profession, I hear that the attitudes expressed in the film were very similar to how doctors felt and the CDC felt at the time. Plus, we have to realize that we’re seeing this film with a retrospective eye. At the time, they didn’t know what we know now and so they’re caution and attitudes were warranted. Justified, no, but warranted.
3. Did you know the history behind the script? (IE: its passage for almost 20 years from Actor/Directer to Actor/Director)
I did not but that’s not uncommon. Scripts normally take years to write and develop and then there’s the process of shopping it around. Studio vs. Independent. And once the film is greenlit, there’s always the struggles of pre-production, production, post, and so on and so forth.
4. How did you feel about McConaughey and Leto’s Performance?
They were amazing. I’ve never seen McConaughey outside his usual, cowboy-slick role before (even though he played a cowboy in DBC) and Jared Leto deserves an Oscar. Can we give Jennifer Garner some love too? She’s one of my favorite actresses and it was nice seeing her on the big screen again.
5. Was this hard to watch for you?
Given my love for all things “ER” (the TV show), it wasn’t hard for me to watch. I’ve seen countless stories like this come across the screen, and while I’m well removed from the situation, you couldn’t help but be drawn into the interpersonal dramas that played between the two characters. That for me was far more interesting than the outward struggles they were facing with the various medical administrations.
Mia to Grace:
1. What got you in the cinema seats to see this film?
I actually adore Matthew McConaughey in all his glory. I know he was pretty static for a while and I think he was hearing that too. I wanted to see him in Mud but missed it. I am waiting for Amazon to let me rent it. I had heard McConaughey really broke his mold for Mud and Dallas Buyers Club. There was a lot of Oscar buzz right at the get go when the movie opened. So I went.
2. Did you learn anything from the experience?
Even though the historical events are probably influenced by the cinemagraphic art and the hand cut drama, I was not really aware of how bad the HIV situation was during the 80s. I found the judging nature of doctors and the CDC apalling, probable and normal.
3. What did you think of Woodroof’s entrepreneurial approach to solve the medicine problem?
I think this is yet another case of a man trying to survive. At least in the movie he wasn’t living the good life off the sick members money. It seemed like he saw a way to survive and it was a way that also seemed to help those the medical professionals let suffer or had forsaken.
4. Do you think patient’s should be able to control what medicines go into their bodies or do you think that is solely their prescribing physician’s discretion?
I think if you don’t feel well the doctor should listen to you, try something else. However the US doctors in the movie were running a trial. My limited science background tells me that to get good results in a trial you have to follow the guidelines, that may mean some deaths to help provide results to better the medicine as it develops. In this case the deaths are humans with lives and families and loved ones. It is a tough situation.
5. As the credits rolled, what were your initial thoughts on the film?
The movie would have been an emotional roller coaster to film. It was mostly dark but the actors all did a fantastic job in their roles and telling the story. At the end of the movie I was sad. Really truly sad. It seemed as though in this case the law was wrong. A dying person should have access to whatever would make them feel better or live longer, approved or not. The law seemed over strict and down right cruel. Though, if we started making special concessions to laws it would be a slippery slope.