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Review: Matthew McConaughey is pure 'Gold' in his latest film

Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:39 PM Central

by John Couture

You know, it's still hard to say Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey because whenever I think of him, I can't get his stoned persona from Dazed and Confused out of my head. Obviously, the actor has come a long way since his early days in the business, but I still want to believe that deep in his heart, he will forever be Wooderson.

Since winning his Oscar for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, his career choices have taken a very particular path to ensure that his win won't be known as a one-hit wonder. The results are mixed at best, but one thing is pretty clear, McConaughey is a much better actor than anyone believed capable in the 1990s.

In this week's Gold, McConaughey plays Kenny Wells in a mostly true account of a Calgary mining company Bre-X Minerals and its boss David Walsh. The film claims to be inspired by actual events and while many aspects appear to be fantastical, it light of recent films based on true events such as Wolf of Wall Street (also starring McConaughey) and The Big Short, the truths of Gold don't seem too far-fetched.

Kenny Wells is a loveable loser type who simply dreams (quite literally) of finding gold and striking it rich. He runs a barely there mining company called Washoe Mining out of a casino/bar in Reno that becomes a big player when Kenny's dream actually comes true. The question then becomes once he has the American dream, can he hold onto it?

Kenny Wells is a tailored-made character for Matthew McConaughey given his larger-than-life persona and penchant for being just a bit smarmy. At one point, he steals and pawns a watch that belongs to his girlfriend to fund his latest expedition and that action strikes to the very core of his values. It's a tough tightrope to maintain, but this type duplicitous behavior is a trademark in McConaughey's repertoire.

Speaking of his girlfriend, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to shed a spotlight on Bryce Dallas Howard's performance as Kay. She is practically unrecognizable from the well put together Claire in Jurassic World. Despite that, she pulls off the fish out of water small-town girl caught out of depth to perfection. Her turn hasn't been generating that much buzz, but it really should as her groundedness is the anchor to Kenny and the whole film in a way.

I don't want to say too much so as not to ruin the surprises, but she is pivotal to the story and like any good anchor, when it's not present, things tend to go astray. Of course, her work is often overlooked by the memorable turns put in by McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez as a geologist with somewhat unique ideas that line up with Wells' quest.

Gold is yet another Weinstein film that was positioned to leverage McConaughey's performance for awards glory. When that didn't come to fruition, it sort of got buried at the box office and only ended up with just over $7 million in earnings. This a film that should find a sizeable audience at home entertainment.

If you have enjoyed the recent spate of inspired by true events films, then you will want to seek out Gold and enjoy yet another fine performance from Matthew McConaughey. Gold is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.