Now Streaming in Austin: The Golden Rut

The awkward and hilarious reality of going nowhere in Austin

Josh Holden as failing actor Scottie Johnson, comfortable in The Golden Rut

Welcome to Now Streaming in Austin, highlighting locally made titles to watch while self-quarantining.
Austin can be a great town for meeting people, being creative, hanging out - and that's the trap at the bottom of The Golden Rut, the 2016 comedy about the dangers of settling.

Writer/directors and stars the Holden brothers deploy broader comedy for similar ends in The Golden Rut: Josh plays Scottie, a talented actor going nowhere in Austin, while brother Nick is his best friend/Jiminy Cricket, Arlo, who has a lot to scold when Scottie's overly-comfortable life in the middle is thrown into turmoil when his girlfriend Ebby's twin sister Alex (Laura Flannery in a dual role) rolls into town.

When The Golden Rut premiered at Austin Film Festival in 2016, Nick said Ebby "represents someone who is [Scottie's] age, but has her shit together" - something that can definitely not be said about Scottie, who blithely pinwheels between different kinds of not making it. Can he find a sense of direction before the golden rut swallows him whole?

There's a thick strand of autobiography and observation about the Austin scene here The Golden Rut, including a gloriously cringe-inducing scene of Scottie feigning developmental issues to get a part from a Terrence Malick-esque visionary director (scene mainstay character actor Bill Wise). And if it seems a little scathingly accurate amid the jokes, well, that's the point. The Holdens aimed for "a truthful portrait [of] an actor in Austin" - and, as Nick put it, "Sometimes you can speak the truth a little easier with comedy rather than drama."

The Golden Rut

• Amazon Prime (Link)
• Google Play (Link)
• Tubi (Link)
• Vudu (Vudu)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Richard Whittaker
Tribeca Film Festival Review: <i>7 Days</i>
Tribeca Film Festival Review: 7 Days
Rom com plays perfectly with the tools Harry and Sally left behind

June 17, 2021

The Sparks Brothers
Edgar Wright reveals the wonderful, mysterious Mael brothers

June 18, 2021


Now Streaming in Austin, The Golden Rut

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle