The scene I was most interested in analyzing was the scene in Dallas Buyer’s Club when Rayon goes to ask her father for money. I watched the movie again recently for a paper due in another class and watching it the second time (also - post Oscars) - I was able to look at it with a more critical eye. That being said the costume was obviously one of the most important parts of the scene. It is the first time that we see Rayon in a suit (she’s a transgender woman). She looks uncomfortable and doesn’t move around as much in that attire. Totally different from what the audience is used to seeing on screen - that being a person that usually moves with a type of ease and ‘sway’.
Aside from the costume is the sound. The level of the two characters voices when they speak. Her voice is lower than her father’s for most of the scene. He trumps her - which serves to show that he is still the dominant figure in the room (they were after all in his office - so there is some validity to that). However, Rayon’s voice is louder when she announces that she has AIDS and the purpose of this is to illustrate a pivotal shift in their relationship. The use of sound and dialogue is what struck me the most because it seems like such a simple thing, it gets over looked a lot because when you’re just watching for fun you feel it but you don’t know what it is. Whether it’s the words or the situation itself (valid in their own right). But when you listen carefully, you realize - it’s the sound. And the sound editing is smooth. It’s in the way that they fight with volume. The scene is a short one probably only about five minutes max, but the sound and the costume are so critical it becomes one of the high points of the film.
*Also on a final note: the camera follows the characters well, as they move from one room to another, the 180-degree rule is used well. There’s no confusion when they transition from one room to another or when Rayon is walking around her father’s office and he’s sitting down.