Country Gold

Country Gold ★★★

First film of Fantastic Fest at Home 2022.

Mickey Reece has directed a lot of movies already at this point of his career, but this one is only the third one of his I've seen, despite my claim after seeing Agnes at last year's festival that I was going to check out more of his work.

I really like Agnes a lot, disproportionately so compared to its average Letterboxd rating of 2.6. Country Gold does not reach those heights for me. But this film goes in a totally different direction than Agnes. Heck, the film itself goes in totally different directions half the time.

What starts out as an obvious parody of the 90s country music scene (and in particularly the rise of Garth Brooks), quickly turns into an alternate universe fantasy where Troyal, the Brooks stand in (played by Reece himself), meets up with his idol George Jones. After meeting over a steak dinner, the film becomes many things: a hang, a pontification on what it takes to succeed into stardom, an alternate universe fantasy where Jones is a hitman and CIA operative, and a discussion on the legacy we leave behind.

The comedy is funny enough to work. The pace is brisk. But something kept me from totally engaging with it as a whole. But I love to see a filmmaker go from something different. And Reece seems to do something different with every film. Maybe I will check out more of his film for real this time before his next film debuts probably at next year's Fantastic Fest.

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