While all Oscars talk has fixed upon the ingenious efforts of Steve McQueen and Alfonso Cuaron in 12 Years a Slave and Gravity respectively, The Dallas Buyer’s Club has been accumulating a slew of positive reviews, with the film’s star, Matthew Mcconaughey at the centre of the hyperbole.

Matthew McConaugheyMatthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club

The film sees McConaughey adopt the role of Ron Woodruff, an unpredictable, irrepressible player in the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Having been diagnosed with the disease himself, he set out to form a black market where people could buy drugs otherwise unavailable in the U.S, becoming a cult figure in the process.

“Dallas Buyers Club fits our Breaking Bad moment perfectly, offering a difficult hero whose personal code takes on an intriguing coherence,” write Time Out New York of the film. McConaughy had to shed a huge amount of weight to cut the diminutive figure of Woodruff, whose excessive drug and alcohol abuse saw him adopt an emaciated physique.

Watch the trailer for Dallas Buyer's Club

“I was going around and people were going, ‘Hey, are you feeling all right?’” he told People Magazine. “But then I hit 135 lbs. I ran in to somebody and they didn't just ask if I was all right, they said, ‘My God, we need to get you some help.’ And I thought, ‘There we go. That's the perfect spot.’”

Village Voice were full of praise for the drama, which is set in 1985. “What's remarkable about Dallas Buyers Club,” they write, “is its lack of sentimentality. The movie, like its star, is all angles and elbows, earning its emotion through sheer pragmatism.”

“There's still something undeniably moving about the film's trajectory, which allows McConaughey to blossom into an empathetic figure-one whose homophobia fades as his fighting spirit intensifies-without losing his rapscallion spirit,” surmise the AV Club.

Matthew McConaughy and Jared LetoMatthew McConaughy and Jared Leto

The Texas-born actor has starred in 44 films in 20 years before Buyer’s Club, with his last critically acclaimed turn coming via Mud. He’s set to star alongside Woody Harrelson in HBO’s new crime drama, True Detective in January.

The Dallas Buyer’s Club is out on November 1st; Feb 7th in the U.K and Feb 22nd in Japan.