Matthew McConaughey not only stars in GOLD, as usual he appears to have delivered another gold performance. Although I would happily burn his gold statue after his stupid comments this morning about getting behind and supporting a Dictator.
GOLD is out now in Australia, oddly it is on a limited release playing at a hand-full of cinemas. Check out your local directories for session times. GOLD is released by StudioCanal, runs for 120mins and is rated MA15+. Enjoy Blakes thoughts…….all the best……JK.
Matthew McConaughey has had quite an incredible turn in his career of late. Once the go-to-guy for romantic comedies and stoner/surfer roles, McConaughey now takes his pick of serious, Oscar-worthy, roles. After winning the gold (no pun intended) for THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, McConaughey once again undergoes a transformation, this time into a pot-bellied, snaggle-toothed, balding prospector, for another shot at Oscar glory in GOLD.
Inspired by the real-life events of the Bre-X Mining scandal of the late eighties, McConaughey plays mining prospector Kenny Wells, working for his father in Reno, Nevada. Their mining company, Washoe, is one of the big players in the business but when Kenny’s father passes away, both the business and Kenny’s life start to spiral out of control.
Flash forward seven years and Washoe is hanging on by its fingernails. The business is run out of a bar and Kenny is a full-blown alcoholic, He is struggling to make ends meet. In one of his drunken stupors, he dreams of the dense jungles of Indonesia and wakes with the idea that there’s gold in them, thar hills.
Wells calls upon the services of renowned mineral finder, Mike Acosta (Edgar Ramirez, POINT BREAK). Acosta is a man known for finding rich deposits in obscure places worldwide and Wells’ meeting with him in Indonesia kicks off GOLD in a big way. Convincing Acosta to join his wild ramblings of lost gold in the Indo jungle, Wells sets about hustling everyone he can to scrounge up enough funds to fund their venture.
STRIKE IT RICH:
As Acosta and Wells dig into the Indonesian jungle, things look bleak as the money dries up, local workers abandon them and Wells almost succumbs to malaria. However, the miners hit it big when Acosta learns that Wells’ crazy vision wasn’t so crazy after all and there is indeed gold in those mountains. In fact, the biggest gold find of the century.
Now a film about two men finding large amounts of gold and being set for life isn’t going to be worth telling, so of course, not everything is so rosy. With new interest from Wall Street and rival mining conglomerates all vying for a piece of this new action, Wells, fights to keep his family name in the industry as well as keeping a firm grip on his stockpile.
Going from rags to riches in GOLD, Wells gets swept up in the high life, losing the one person that stood by him from the beginning, his girl Kay. Kay is played by Bryce Dallas Howard, sporting some of the greatest eighties hair ever put to film. As always, the incredible rise is often followed by the inevitable fall. Those that know of the Bre-X scandal will know the outcome of this story, those who don’t, well I won’t spoil it for you, but there are some surprising twists and turns in the third act of GOLD that are well played out.
THE CAST & CREW:
McConaughey is on top form here, going full on, balls out (at times literally) with this role, looking like a cross between Hunter S. Thompson and Robert Duvall. His Kenny is completely head strong, over the top and determined, no matter what it takes to strike it rich and bring honour back to the family name.
Edgar Ramirez is the surprise packet here, putting in a great performance as the suave, doyen of minerals, Mike Acosta. Sceptical of Wells and his wild ideas, he comes full circle to being a friend, ally and more. Bryce Dallas Howard also has a strong role as Kay, trying to keep her man on the level and not being able to standby as he sends himself on the path to ruin.
Director Stephen Gaghan (SYRIANA) keeps a tight rein on proceedings, letting in just enough humour from the often nutty escapades of Wells’ character to balance out the serious consequences of GOLD’s last act. Also worth mentioning is the cinematography, going from the dank, dingy offices of Washoe mining to the beautifully shot, lush jungles of South East Asia and back around to the glitzy New York skyline of the late 80’s.
Personally, I had no idea about the Bre-X scandal or about the film itself. However, GOLD features great performances from all involved and has some great moments, especially towards the end that takes it above other films of its type. The only real downside is that the run time is a touch too long. The were some slow moments in the second act that could quite easily have been trimmed down. Think of it as a cross between THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and THE STING and it gives you some idea of what GOLD is all about.
Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80
** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.