All the Money in the World
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.