Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of making my own 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.


Week Sixty Nine: Gold


The main reason I was attracted to this film was German actress Nina Hoss, an amazing talent who I loved in Barbara and Phoenix. I was dismayed to hear her voice dubbed… an actor’s voice is so much of their performance. Dubbing has never worked for me; it completely loses the tone of the piece and it’s hard to make an assessment of this Western when all of the clearly talented actors have been robbed of their original speech.

The style feels like a cross between the realism of Meek’s Cutoff and something more stylized. The Dead Man-like electric guitar score definitely favors the latter direction and often feels in conflict with the rest of the picture. The movie doesn’t have enough energy to be thrilling (not necessarily a criticism) but it also does not have enough depth to carry it in the other direction. Like the characters, it feels a little lost, trying to find itself.

Nevertheless, I stayed to the end and found value in Nina’s eyes, the landscape, and moments of naturalism throughout.

Seen on Amazon Prime.