I'm just an old lady who likes makin' pies
Cinema Nova - Tuesday 28 June 2016, 6:30pm
Running time: 110m
Release date: 07/07/16
Rating: 6/10 (ME 3.5/5, DP 2.5/5)
Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) arrives in the remote mining town of Goldstone looking for a missing woman. The welcome is less that warm from local policeman Josh (Alex Russell), the corrupt mayor (Jacki Weaver) and the shifty mine operator (David Wenham). Jay's presence in the town jeopardises the fragile balance between development and tradition as the landscape reveals the secrets and lies that lay buried just beneath its dusty surface.
Goldstone is a stand-alone sequel to Ivan Sen's 2013 film Mystery Road. Amidst the stunning cinematography there is a relentless story that is dark and sinister, punctuated by moments of humour and absurdity, but nothing that lingers too long to give any sense of comfort or relief. It's the bizarre nature of the relationships that propels the tension, and the sparse dialogue (look out for the interactions between Aaron Pedersen and Jacki Weaver) help to define its stark narrative style. At times it feels like an over-played western (complete with gum-chewing 'sherif' wearing an oversized belt-buckle) while at other times it's a sensitive commentary about connection to place and the price of progress. Corruption, exploitation and human trafficking are themes explored here as the pieces eventually come together in a story that is challenging but doesn't search too hard for absolute resolutions.
The acting is very good with characterisations that have been crafted with broad brush-strokes as sweeping and rough as the landscape in which they appear. There is little subtlety with the performances and very few of them manage to generate much empathy. One of Australian cinema's national treasures David Gulpilil makes brief but important appearances as Jimmy that allows Goldstone to transcend deliberate filmic cliches to explore themes of identity and place with sensitivity and pathos. Mysterious and intriguing, Goldstone won't be to everyone's taste but provides a satisfying yet exhausting experience. (ME)
See also: Strangerland, Looking for Grace
6th AACTA Awards