Matthew Mcconaughey has been the butt of many a joke over the course of his career, with his acting ability often brought into question by critics and jokers alike thanks to his largely uninspired choice of roles. His latest film, however, is a major departure from his usual rom-com venture and has even had people crying out for him to be awarded an Oscar, or at least get a nomination for his work in Dallas Buyers Club.

Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey is exceptional in the film

McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroof in the true story of the former Dallas Cowboys star who is stricken with the still-largely unknown and misunderstood HIV virus in 1986. Abandoned by his friends and acquaintances and given just 30 days to live by his largely unhelpful team of doctors, Woodroof is forced to take matters into his own hands and ships in various 'cures' and treatments from across the globe. Soon he begins to build up a surplus of supplies and begins distributing them among the largely ignored HIV-suffering population, meeting like-minded people on his trip, including Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, both of whom have also been widely praised for their performances.

But McConaughey's performance outshines all of his co-stars, with the 44-year-old being praised for giving "the performance of his career," by Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post. Hornaday's comments are matched by Claudia Puig of USA Today, who wrote in her appraisal of the film: "McConaughey proves he has evolved from a handsome lightweight to one of the most talented, risk-taking actors in Hollywood."

Dallas Buyers Club
McConaughey's co-star Jared Leto has also been earmarked for Oscar success

McConaughy was forced to lose a considerable amount of weight for his role as a HIV sufferer, as was his co-star Leto, and their dedication to their roles has not gone unnoticed. Naturally, Oscar buzz has generated around the film, and particularly around the two male leads. Leto's performance as a HIV-suffering drag queen who becomes Woodroof's unlikely business partner was deemed "Oscar worthy" by Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times, whilst The Telegraph's Tim Robey was just as overwhelmed with McConaughey. He wrote, "In Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey blazes in a role that Oscar voters will be powerless to keep off their shortlist.”

The general consensus surrounding the film is that it is powerful portrayal of the AIDs struggle in its early days, one that is made all the more engaging and powerful thanks to the stellar performances from the cast. Come awards season, don't be surprised to see it mentioned over and over again. Dallas Buyers Club is out in US cinemas now on a limited basis and will arrive in the UK on 7 February 2014.

Watch the trailer for Dallas Buyers Club