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movie review

Is it Gold? Louis Reviews OKC Filmmaker’s Latest: Country Gold (2023)

A "country music fever dream..."

6:43 PM EDT on May 11, 2023

The thunder might not roll, but it sure does bite!

The nineteen-nineties country-music boom-shot gave wanton new life to the hard won, luck-of-the-draw genre, with the old standards and moldy oldies put to the platinum pastures for the new upstarts. It’s a tale as old as time, for the most part.

And while Garth, Vince or Keith have probably not gotten around to viewing this movie, I am sure they would see themselves in the half-beatific, half-surrealist comedy Country Gold, by Oklahoma City filmmaker Mickey Reece.

Troyal Brux (Mickey Reece) is one of the “aw shucks” country music stars in the early naughts—but he is not naïve, for the most part. With his Mo’ Betta gear, music industry dollars and his idolization of Music Row’s most eternal legends, one of them—George Jones (Ben Hall)—invites him to Nashville.

His initial meeting with Jones being one of full-blown star-worship, things change when Jones tells him that, in a few hours, he is going to get himself cryopreserved, Walt Disney-style.

Along the way, they converse about the horrors of the music business, anti-Latino sentiments, cocaine hard-ons, and the Nashville girls that want to party all night…all of that, except when they don't want anymore.

Much like his 2017 film Mickey Reece’s Alien that explored the Elvis mythos far more than Baz Luhrmann ever could, this companion piece is a country music fever dream, with the seemingly-innocent Okie-warrior culture clashing with the Nashville cosmopolitan C+W royalty.

As Troyal and George, respectively, Reece and Hall are at their absolute best. Reece is full of snappy banter and dumber comebacks. Hall’s world-weary takedown of the music business is rueful, giving and taking a masterclass in building a philosophical wall and tearing all it down—all to prove an ageless point.

Written by Reece and John Selvidge, the film is a shakedown of the creative persona and takedown of the whole artist as a product, built on hillbilly gods and philosophical burn-outs.

It is a comically tragic exercise on all fronts: An 80-minute out-of-body experience, reveling in this weird world of county music—especially when you know these Oklahomans and their Red River tics like we do.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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