Things get sweaty in Getty tale

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

THERE was as much drama be­hind the scenes as there is in the story of All The Money In The World.

Once the scan­dal about co-star Kevin Spacey broke last year, di­rec­tor Ri­d­ley Scott scrapped the ac­tor’s footage, hired Hol­ly­wood le­gend Christo­pher Plum­mer to re­place him, re-as­sem­bled his ex­ist­ing main cast, and reshot sev­eral key and lengthy scenes – just weeks be­fore the film’s re­lease.

All The Money In The World is a cu­ri­ous film – the moral stance of its di­rec­tor and what he was able to achieve could eas­ily have over­shad­owed the fin­ished prod­uct. Then Plum­mer was im­me­di­ately nom­i­nated for a Golden Globe for a few last-minute days work.

So, was it all worth it?

The film drama­tises the real-life kid­nap­ping of teenager John Paul Getty III in 1973 while he was in Italy and the im­pact it had on his fam­ily.

His kid­nap­pers de­mand a multi-mil­lion dol­lar ran­som and John’s cold but dot­ing bil­lion­aire oil mag­nate grand­fa­ther Jean Paul Getty – the rich­est man on the planet at the time – doesn’t pay a cent.

While his pan­icked mother Gail (Michelle Wil­liams) tries des­per­ately to get her son back with the help of former CIA op­er­a­tive Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), Getty re­fuses to budge on pay­ment.

It is a grip­ping story for which a no-brainer so­lu­tion ex­ists to a par­tic­u­lar dilemma, that teases us by with­hold­ing Getty’s mo­ti­va­tion for not bail­ing out his beloved grand­son.

Ku­dos to screen­writ­ers David Scarpa and John Pear­son for keep­ing the script fo­cused on Gail, and cre­at­ing a well-rounded char­ac­ter for Wil­liams to sink her teeth into.

What Scott achieved is ex­tra­or­di­nary, once you see the fin­ished film and how much screen time Plum­mer takes up.

It was an ex­pen­sive PR ex­er­cise but Plum­mer is a per­fect fit - so much so that with­out the head­line news, it would have been im­pos­si­ble to guess he wasn’t in­volved from the get-go.

While this does not reach the white-knuckle thrills of Scott’s clas­sic chiller Alien, it is a solid drama with ter­rific per­for­mances.

Michelle Wil­liams and Mark Wahlberg in All The Money In The World.

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