Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) is a prospector down on his luck. Having teamed up with a similarly eager geologist (Edgar Ramírez), the pair travel to the uncharted jungle of Indonesia in search of gold. However, keeping hold of their winnings proves to be difficult when they find themselves battling the boardrooms of Wall Street.

Having earned himself an Oscar for Dallas Buyer’s Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013) and delved in to strong character pieces; McConaughey has hit a fair few home-runs in recent years. Gold sees him star in yet another biopic which, he claims, is his favourite role to date. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, Gold presents McConaughey in one of his most extreme character transformations to date; complete with comb over, fake teeth and belly. Loosely inspired by the true events of David Walsh and the Bre-X scandal, the film follows a third generation prospector in the 1980s who dreams of finding gold in the jungles of Indonesia. Having staked his last dollar on tracking down Michael Acosta (Ramirez) and assembling a work force to dig, we follow the pair’s rollercoaster journey from rags to riches; to Wall Street and scandal.

On paper, Gold has all the foundations and the performances which should have encouraged awards attention yet somehow it falls short. Despite a perfectly reasonable narrative and structure, there are times when the story feels restricted. Whilst there are unexpected twists and turns, it is somewhat of a slow burner to reach them. As spectators, our commitment is invested instead towards McConaughey’s believable portrayal of Kenny – a mesmerising performance as an erratic “drunk racoon”. Although sometimes a dislikeable character, he is relatable and holds our attention. He is the glue which holds the film together.

Presented as a tale of the all American Dream, the Wall Street corporate bankers are the antagonists – stomping on Kenny’s aspirations. While Kenny seeks their acceptance and is reliant on the investment from Brian (Corey Stoll of House of Cards), behind his back they mock him. Kenny’s wife, Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) is quick to pick up on this and is unable to cope with strain in the new world she and her husband have found themselves in. This ultimately presents the depth in this narrative alongside Kenny’s determination throughout his setbacks. Having imagined gold in his whiskey-soaked dreams, Kenny and Mike are the real heroes as they attempt to make their own mark on the world. Later on in the film, Kenny mentioned that he was never in it for the money – he just “loved the chase”.

As if to be one big middle finger to capitalism, Gold brings to mind such films as The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015) in that it presents a story, based on actual events, with a message of corporate greed – whilst also making you laugh. Unfortunately, Gold is not quite worthy of any golden statues but it is certainly worth the watch and undoubtedly entertaining. McConaughey yet again shows his diversity and delivers a stellar performance alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, in this sometimes witty drama with soul.



Movie Review: Gold
3.5Overall Score
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Sophie is a film blogger from South London with a degree in Film Theory and Major Production. Sophie currently works in digital marketing but in her spare time you'll find her writing reviews or at the cinema. Sophie loves all things Star Wars and Hollywood but having specialized in the Horror genre, monsters are her first love. She'll watch absolutely anything given the chance - you can find her also on her blog, Twitter: