Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are Oscar bait in this AIDS drama.

Matthew McConaughey dropped 50 pounds to play a Texas rodeo cowboy diagnosed with aids in 1986 in a real life story. Told he had just 30 days to live, heterosexual Ron Woodroof went almost immediately from denial and gay-bashing into heavy duty educational mode. He ultimately turned to alternative therapies that kept him alive 7 years. He not only prolonged his life, he started illegally importing the alternatives , charging other aids and hiv patients a monthly fee for the treatment.

Along the way, he slowly lost his anti-gay prejudices, befriending a transsexual , played by an almost unrecognizable Jared Leto, who not only also dropped a ton of weight but stayed in character from the moment he arrived on the set.

Jennifer Gardener is also effective as a sympathetic doctor.

Add to this to the 10 best of the year.