Things get sweaty in Getty tale
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.