Goldstone | DVD Review & Giveaway

Back in July Australian film awesome, GOLDSTONE, released into cinemas. October 26th, it releases on home entertainment and thanks to the wonderful folks at Transmission Films and Tracey Mair Publicity you can win one of five copies on DVD. It is a truly brilliant film with outback Australia meets BROADCHURCH crime with the amazing Detective Jay Swan back in action. Please enjoy my review of the movie that I published in July and find out how to win afterwards. I LOVED THIS MOVIE :).


GOLDSTONE is the best Western I have seen on the big screen since UNFORGIVEN, drops mike.

Orange, ochre, cobalt blue, and every hue of pink make up the outback palette for this stunning sequel in the Detective Jay Swan follow up to MYSTERY ROAD. GOLDSTONE was the opening movie of the 2016 Sydney Film Festival and needs to be Australia’s submission for the Academy Awards. It is a masterpiece of Australia, of crime, of plot, of cinematography and of our acting talent. I enjoyed MYSTERY ROAD but it hasn’t stayed with me as much as GOLDSTONE, a movie I can say will make my Top 20 of 2016. GOLDSTONE released on July 7 in Australia from Transmission Films, is rated M and runs for 110mins, this movie DEMANDS to be seen on the big screen.


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GOLDSTONE begins showing the vast, colourful, dehydrated outback of Australia as we see local cop, Josh (Alex Russell), pull over one very drunk driver. Said driver is Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen), Josh takes him to the dry cell at his police station to dry out where he finds out he is a detective.

The town is small, the people larger than life. Swan is doing what he knows best, being a detective, he has come to the title town, Goldstone, on a missing person’s case for a young Asian girl. Contrasting this is Swan’s mental state, destroyed and as barren as the land around him from the loss of his daughter and the events that happened in MYSTERY ROAD. He no longer cares and drinks to forget, but as a cop is still determined to search for this missing girl.

Josh is young and the only cop in Goldstone, a guy with a heart wanting to be in the right place but living in a town that is drowning in corruption. He is being swept into the tide of the corruption by the people controlling the town. There is the controlling lipstick mayor, played (as always) superbly by Jacki Weaver. Mayor Maureen is all about the money and she is screwing the as-evil asshole running the local mine of Furnace Creek, Johnny (David Wenham). Johnny runs his mine with bundles of $50 notes for bribery and pays off everything to get his way. He is currently trying to get a massive expansion to the mine, something that requires the Aboriginal Land Council to sign off on.

As the town unravels Jay finds a lead that his missing Asian girl is part of an Asian sex-ring of smuggled girls. And then everyone’s worlds start aligning.


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Ivan Sen is a master auteur story teller, a true talent in Australian movie making. He has created a tale that moves slower than MYSTERY ROAD, has a lot less dialogue, but speaks volumes more. GOLDSTONE is like a TRUE DETECTIVE western or an extended episode of WALLANDER or THE KILLING but it achieves it all in under two hours and does away with the unnecessary.

Sen weaves corruption, Aboriginal land-rights, spirituality, loss, recovery, human trafficking, morals and some damn fine action into one movie and does it without pomp and flare. It is a movie that succeeds because Sen, also the writer, does one basic principle of brilliant movie-making…………he sticks with a good story. Everything is about the story, the rest falls into place. Sen’s bonus is that everything else aligns for GOLDSTONE.


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For an Australian movie GOLDSTONE couldn’t really do much better than it did with it’s cast. I honestly can’t get enough of Pedersen as Jay Swan. One of the best flawed characters with a heart of purity. Swan is destroyed from his loss and it makes his character near invincible because he just doesn’t care what happens to him as he has nothing to lose. Pedersen has never acted finer, it is rare for him to even speaking GOLDSTONE. He nearly does an entire morning tea with the mayor and just listens but Pedersen manages to say everything he needs without opening his mouth, I wish more people were like this :).


Alex Russell is coming a long way, you may know him most from science-fiction low budget gold, CHRONICLE, expect to see a lot more of him into the future, he is talented. His character is on a precipice of doing the easy thing or doing the right thing. In the end his oath as a police person and his morals win out when he sees the fibre of Swan.


Jacki Weaver plays another brilliant character, close in evil to her role in ANIMAL KINGDOM she is a corrupt and truly horrific person. But the splendid part is she does it with a platinum blonde wig and constantly bakes. A true sociopath without any emotions for anyone but her self. Her partner in crime, Johnny, is owned by David Wenham, a marvellous bogan of the eighties, a corrupt bastard who thinks he can get away with anything and knows all, or strong arms it all. Deluded in his empire with his minions of bikers and miners, all under his control because he pays them.


David Gulpilil has less than 15mins screen time and I would still call this one of his best performances. His face is as rugged as the landscape and as a person he epitomises indigenous Australia.


Pei-Pei Cheng is a legendary Chinese actress, a woman with over eighty credits to her name, Sen asked her to play the role of the Madame in the smuggling sex-ring. She also has a brief role but her performance is powerful. It is also incredibly smart of Sen, it will probably see a large Chinese box-office for this movie in Australia and a possible release in China itself.

And I have to give special mention to Aaron Fa’aoso as Bear, a security guard who is built like a tank and armed like one too. I don’t even think he speaks in the movie but I really loved his character


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Technically GOLDSTONE is flawless. Besides Sen’s flawless direction and his amazing writing we can add phenomenal cinematography to his list of achievements for GOLDSTONE. The cinematography is a visual ode to the outback landscape and Sen’s use of aerial shots were incredibly striking although I think he used them a little too much. And now he is just showing off, we can also thank Sen for the fine music that accompanies the entire movie.


GOLDSTONE is an authentic Australian Western. Oddly reminiscent of Eastwood’s UNFORGIVEN Jacki Weaver plays the much nicer version of Gene Hackman’s character but is still a pillar of evil and Jay Swan is the messed up William Munny. It is for this association, the overall building dark mood and tone of the movie plus the brilliance of Sen that I freaking love GOLDSTONE. I will be happy to see this one again and can see it making the JK permanent collection.


4 and a Half Pops



With special thanks to Transmission Films and Tracey Mair Publicity to win one of the five DVDs of GOLDSTONE you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage). Further to this you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following question/s:

Who is your favourite movie set in a desert? I am leaning towards a combo of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or MAD MAX.


If you do not have social media then you can still enter, leave your entry below in the comments and then email me at telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

This is a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges. 

The prizes will be drawn on or after October 30th so enter this one quick. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this  is only available to Australian residents.




 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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