In telling this remarkable true story, director Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) and his gifted cast keep the characters and events so grounded that we can't help but get caught up in their story. The film never asks for our sympathy, but it earns it over and over again as it explores a disgraceful period in American history when businesses and the government essentially condemned millions to death by withholding proper treatment for HIV and Aids.
It begins in 1985, when homophobic womaniser Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is told that he has just a month to live. Refusing to believe that he has the same disease that has just killed Rock Hudson, he ignores his doctors (Garner and O'Hare) to find his own supply of AZT, which makes him even more ill. So he heads to Mexico to find a range of treatment the US government has refused to approve, and he imports them himself, creating a members' club to subvert the law. This requires that he set his deep-seated prejudice aside so he can work with the transgendered Rayon (Leto). But a government lawyer (O'Neill) is determined to shut him down.
Yes, it's deeply infuriating to watch the American system try so hard to stop Woodruff from saving lives. Government officials continually outlaw his effective treatments so they can pawn off the toxic, over-priced AZT instead. So Woodruff travels the world in search of new medicine, and his business of course takes off. Vallee cleverly cuts through the 1980s period details to reveal Woodruff's earthy tenacity and an overpowering sense of humanity.
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Frank is a remarkable cop with a lot to look forward to in his life, but as happy as he is, he still has major worries for the people around him. His brother Chris has just been released from prison after a gang-related murder several years ago. Frank wants to make sure Chris stays on the straight and narrow as he rebuilds his shattered life, and offers him shelter, a job and an opportunity to restore his relationships with his former wife Monica and his children. However, Chris also finds himself reconnecting with some old 'friends' and it soon becomes clear that he has no intention of living straight. All Frank wants is a happy and secure family, but if he keeps trying to save his wayward brother's back from the law, he could find himself facing an uncertain future in the force.
'Blood Ties' is the Hollywood re-make of Jacques Maillot's 2008 French film 'Les liens du sang' which is also adapted from the novel by Bruno and Michel Papet. It has been directed by Guillaume Canet ('Little White Lies', 'Tell No One', 'Whatever You Say') and co-written by James Gray ('Two Lovers', 'We Own the Night', 'The Yards') and is due to appear in theatres on March 21st 2014.
Tommy and Rosie are a young couple living in New York who are madly in love with one another - mad enough that they begin to pull off the most dangerous heists possible in order to make enough money to start a life together after their stints in prison. While Rosie attempts to make an honest living as a debt collector, Tommy is hell-bent on revenge after watching his father get beaten to a pulp by the Mafia when he was just a child. He follows a court trial of mobster Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano whose information in court about his recent exploits present Tommy with an idea to rob the gang's No-Guns social club with Rosie as the getaway driver. After getting away with it without a hit contract, they continue to rob the mob before discovering an important piece of inside information that could permanently bring down the world's most formidable criminals.
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