All the Money in the World

Checked out the new historical drama All the Money in the World. This is the true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty’s grandson in the mid 1970s and the attempt to rescue him without much help from the richest man alive (also known as the richest man who has ever lived). You may also know it as the movie where they last minute swapped out Kevin Spacey for Christopher Plummer after filming all his scenes (due to his sex scandal).
Happily, this is a better movie than all all the negativity Spacey produced. It’s a smart, thoughtful, occasionally darkly comedic film for adults (not that it’s gory or full of sex, but because it’s aimed to be a mature movie for grown ups). Christopher Plummer has a plum (ahem), meaty roll that couldn’t have been cheap to re-film and he does his usual excellent Christopher Plummer job. But the real star is Michelle Williams as the mother and Mark Whalberg as Getty’s fixer who is trying to help with the hostage exchange.
A hostage exchange that isn’t happening since Getty points out he has a dozen grandchildren and he can’t afford to pay all their ransoms. And, besides, he can’t write off a ransom on his taxes. He’s a right bastard, in other words (and my audience laughed a lot at each hypocrisy, hence the dark comedy reference above). And Michelle Williams’ character is divorced from Getty’s son so she doesn’t have the money that the press (and the kidnappers) are sure she has. Williams turns in one of her better performances while the character herself pulls off performances depending on if she’s trying to be herself or a Getty. It’s a neat bit of acting.
This is a relatively long movie that never drags. It’s always interesting whether its following the mother, the grandfather, or the kidnappers (and kidnappee). I was really pleased that it never dragged. This is a Ridley Scott film and he clearly cared more for this movie than pretty much anything he’s made in a decade.
So, yes, I highly recommend this film. It’s not one that the kids would finder interesting but any adult looking for something without transforming robots or superheroes would thoroughly enjoy (not that I hate big blockbusters).
Score: 88

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