All the Money in the World

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - CINEMA - WHITE HI­LARY A

Cert: 15A; Opens Fri­day

But for those sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions, we nearly had Kevin Spacey ham­ming around this real-life ran­som saga. The im­pe­ri­ous Christo­pher Plum­mer was sub­se­quently of­fered the part of the fa­mously tight US gazil­lion­aire John Paul Getty and, given the re­sults, we should count our­selves very lucky.

The hit-and-miss Ri­d­ley Scott lands a doozy here with this ex­cel­lent de­pic­tion of the back-and-forth ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Getty — es­ti­mated at the time to be the rich­est Amer­i­can in his­tory — and the Ital­ian crime fam­ily hold­ing his teenage grand­son John Paul III (Char­lie Plum­mer) hostage. In be­tween the two Plum­mers (no re­la­tion) is Michelle Wil­liams’s stun­ningly nu­anced turn as the boy’s mother that puts her squarely in the race this awards sea­son.

There is a slight ec­cen­tric­ity about David Scarpa’s screen­play that makes this stand out. Fun is had with Getty’s patho­log­i­cal ob­ses­sion with money and hold­ing on to it. Jux­ta­posed with the tor­ment en­dured by his grand­son and daugh­ter-in-law as the kid­nap­pers start to lose their pa­tience, the ag­ing ty­coon’s mean­ness skirts close to be­ing a proper comic de­vice.

Pedi­gree abounds. You have cin­e­matog­ra­pher Dar­iusz Wol­ski’s eras­culpt­ing wash. There’s Daniel Pem­ber­ton’s beau­ti­ful score and Os­car-win­ning ed­i­tor Claire Simp­son, who mid­wifes a crafty, cere­bral struc­ture. Sup­port­ing is a ster­ling Mark Wahlberg as Getty’s se­cu­rity ad­viser.

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