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‘Big Gold Brick’ review: Living the dream

Intentionally all over the place.

Big Gold Brick is filled with an all-star cast and plenty of ideas. Samuel (Emory Cohen) narrates how he came to write the biography of Floyd Devareaux (Andy Garcia). The fact that they met after Floyd ran into Samuel with his car is just the first of the many crazy situations. Filled with zany comedy and wilder fantasies, it becomes a question of whether the film has gone too far. 

The film is intentionally all over the place. The collision has left Sam with a serious head injury. This leads to some of the most surreal moments of Big Gold Brick. There are a number of dream sequences that are funny and disorienting. This is a movie that wants to have fun while taking the audience on a ride. 

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This may be most evident in the character of Anselm played by Oscar Isaac. Much like Floyd’s wife and daughter played by Megan Fox and Lucy Hale respectively, there is not much depth to be found. It is Isaac’s performance mixed with the silly writing that makes the ridiculous villain stand out. Anselm is a highlight of Big Gold Brick and it is disappointing he is not seen more. 

The story also uses a series of flash forwards to further flesh out its narrative. Samuel is a best-selling author thanks to his biography of Floyd. Though few seem to have actually read the book and Big Gold Brick even leaves doubt as to who truly authored the book, Samuel’s world is a whirlwind of promotional appearances and talk shows. All these scenes add to the chaotic nature of the film. 

Clocking in at over two hours, Big Gold Brick does run long. This is felt in the final act of the film when the measured pace of the earlier moments is tossed aside as everything rushes to the conclusion. While it does not take away from the overall enjoyment, there is a sense that writer-director Brian Petsos took on too much.

Big Gold Brick is available in theaters, on digital, and on demand February 25

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