Gold: a movie review by James Berardinelli

February 1, 2017 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Rags to riches stories are a Hollywood staple.

They’ve been around for as long as movies have been around because viewers love a yarn about how a ne’er-do-well, propelled by a combination of luck and hard work, makes good. It’s a dream we all share and Gold uses it as a jumping-off point. However, this isn’t just a chronicle of the improbable rise of mining company CEO Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) – it autopsies his life’s sine wave trajectory as it careens from rags to riches to rags to riches to rags (to riches?).

Oh, and this “yarn” isn’t a tall tale. It’s based on true events. In 1993, Canadian mining company Bre-X bought a site in Busang, Indonesia. 2 1/2 years after the purchase, the company announced the discovery of a major gold deposit (which was subsequently “verified” by “experts”). Bre-X’s stock soared and, in about six months, it had escalated to multiple of orders of magnitude greater than its original value. However, in 1997, the gold samples were identified as fraudulent and the company collapsed. Although Gold fictionalizes many aspects of the overall story, the core facts remain similar and illustrate how greed, hype, and speculation drive the stock market.\

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