Ridley Scott Pulls Off the Impossible with ‘All the Money in the World’

Costume SuperCentre Canada

All the Money in the World

The kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III in 1973 was an international tabloid sensation. The grandson of the world’s richest man was abducted for ransom and the miserly oil tycoon held steadfast in his refusal to pay for his grandson’s release. Today, the tabloids are overflowing with stories of sexual misconduct by power players in Hollywood, powerful men toppling like bowling pins as decades of bad behavior comes to light. One of the more prominent figures to fall was Kevin Spacey, and in an unprecedented move, director Ridley Scott excised the disgrace actor from his drama All the Money in the World, about the Getty kidnapping, and replaced him with Christopher Plummer – this, mind you, all occurring a month before the film’s scheduled release date. Amazingly, Ridley Scott pulled off this nigh-impossible feat and All the Money in the World is hitting its planned release date. The film is a sleek historical drama with a strong undercurrent about the perils of endless wealth and fame.

All the Money in the World opens in Italy in 1973. Scott’s film starts in black and white as J. Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer, no relation to Christopher) strolling along the Italian streets in what appears to an homage to Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. The young Getty stops and chats with local prostitutes before a van pulls up and seizes the young heir.

With the inciting event kicking off All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott and screenwriter David Scarpa (adapting John Pearson’s book) are able to trace the path that led the Getty family to these terrifying events. J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) made a fortune in oil, striking deals with the Saudi royal family and devising previously unrealized of ways to transport the oil from the Middle East to all over the world. By the ‘60s, J. Paul Getty II (Andrew Buchan) has had little contact with his wealthy father, raising a family in San Francisco with his wife Gail (Michelle Williams). At his wife’s behest, the Getty son sends his father a letter. The elder Getty responds with a telegram asking for the family to meet him in Rome. In Rome, J. Paul Getty II is offered a job and the patriarch of the wealthy family grows a bond with J. Paul III, supplying the young man with a valuable trinket and other forms of self-mythologizing about his family lineage. As the years progress, J. Paul II finds himself deep into addiction and Gail files for divorce, leading to a contentious split where the cheapskate billionaire father intervenes, treating the family split as a business transaction. All of this backstory serves to set up the icy coldness that J. Paul Getty uses as a tool in business that deprived him of meaningful human connection to those he claimed to love, and further illustrate how he can be indifferent to the harm committed to his grandson.

With the young Getty in captivity on the Italian countryside with Cinquanta (Romain Duris) overseeing his food and handling ransom negotiations, the elder Getty brings in Fletcher Chase (Mark Whalberg) to utilize his skills acquired from his time in the CIA and his new career cutting deals for Getty’s company to devise a way to bring back the capture J. Paul III. Eventually, Cinquanta and his cohorts grow tired of J. Paul Getty’s intransigence and sell the grandson to a criminal cartel who are much more ruthless. As the situation gets more and more dire for the younger Getty, Gail and Fletcher must evade the relentless paparazzi, deal with a corrupt and inept police force, and pray that J. Paul Getty may find some form of conscience that may inspire him to part with just a fraction of his massive wealth.

With one minor exception, the way in which Ridley Scott was able seamlessly to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer is nothing short of amazing. This doesn’t feel like a movie that recast and reshot a major role a month ago, and Plummer’s role is quite large and integral to the film. Christopher Plummer does deliver a strong performance as the cold and immensely wealthy Getty (though I don’t know if it’s exactly worthy of its Golden Globe nomination). The script by David Scarpa and Plummer’s performance bring forth a portrait of man consumed by greed, placing more value in possessions and wealth than in love and family. All he ever loved was money so he believed that people only loved him for his money. Ridley Scott uses this defining character trait for some rather clever scenes of misdirection, ones that really bring forth some of the most cringe-inducing aspects of Getty’s callousness. Scott’s examination of Getty’s greed and indifference take the story into some fascinating places, such as the mogul using the kidnapping as a means to get a modest tax break.

All the Money in the World is superbly acted all around. Most of the chatter of the movie will be focused on Christopher Plummer and the unusual circumstances that brought him to the screen, but it’s really Michelle Williams who anchors the story. Gail is a strong, smart woman forced into unthinkable circumstances in more ways than one. Williams brings a combination of strength and weariness to Gail that is easy to empathize with, and Gail also is given moments in the film that highlights a keen ability to creatively think on the fly amidst unthinkable levels of personal stress and grief. As the young kidnapped heir, Charlie Plummer brings a vulnerability that was present in his indie breakout King Jack. Plummer creates a fascinating onscreen bond with Romain Duris’ Cinquanta that is more complicated than the simple explanation of Stockholm syndrome. For an international film that is taking place across multiple countries and multiple moments in time, Ridley Scott does an excellent job of keeping the film rather localized in its character dynamics, which are often focused on two interchanging characters with clear objectives.

Ridley Scott continues to work at an incredible rate – All the Money in the World is his second film this year following Alien: Covenant – and the legendary filmmaker is keenly able to make a sharp thriller based on true events that is localized in the characters for its drama but draws upon broader societal trends for its themes. Here is a story of celebrity and greed, something that is all too familiar these days; a story of self-inflating myth at the cost of personal relationships; a story of sacrificing someone else’s wellbeing for just a little more money. These aspects to the Getty story are present in various facets of modern society, seemingly more and more with each passing day. Then, in case you missed it, Ridley Scott concludes All the Money in the World with a powerful, haunting final shot that brings this tragedy to a close. It’s amazing that Ridley Scott pulled off this incredible retooling of his film in less than a month before its release, but it’s more amazing that the film is so insightful and thrilling as it speaks to the past and present.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Devil and Father Amorth
William Friedkin Revists ‘The Exorcist’ in the Ridiculous Documentary ‘The Devil and Father Amorth’

The Exorcist remains one of the high points of the horror...

Deadpool 2 teaser
The Final Trailer for ‘Deadpool 2’ Teases the X-Force

  “So dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC...

They Have Been Cosplayed For the Last Time: SUPERCON

SUPERCON starring Ryan Kwanten, Maggie Grace, Mike Epps, with Russell Peters, Clancy Brown...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Point-and-Click Horror Game Without Escape Heading to Steam

Myst-like point-and-click horror game Without Escape heading to Steam, itch.io and Windows...

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Release Date

Lesquin, FRANCE – April 19, 2018 – Neocore and Bigben, along...

Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Dueling Takes Over Tennessee

El Segundo, Calif. (April 13, 2018) – Get ready Tennessee Duelists, because...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
8.5/10
Bloodshot Salvation #8

Bloodshot Salvation #8  Story by: Jeff Lemire Art by: Renato Guedes Release...

VIZ Media Announces New Manga Acquisitions at C2E2 2018

New Titles Announced For Publication Include Junji Ito’s FRANKENSTEIN, The JUNI...

Japanese Metal Dance Unit BABYMETAL Becomes a Graphic Novel!

Z2 Comics Announces APOCRYPHA: THE LEGEND OF BABYMETAL, An Original Graphic...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
MSI Unveils New Line of Gaming Laptops Powered by Intel 8th Generation Processors

The new line includes GS65 Stealth Thin; the GT75 Titan, the...

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® announce Queen of the Seven Kingdoms Beer

Brewery Ommegang and HBO® announce Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, second beer in Game...

New 120Hz Model of Critically-Acclaimed 35-Inch Curved AGON Gaming Monitor

AOC Announces New 120Hz Model of its Critically-Acclaimed 35-Inch Curved AGON...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Roxy Astor Meets With GLOW…the Netflix Version

As much as people love drama, there was nothing but love...

LFC 25 Showdown at Sam’s Town Full Results

Updating the tradition of Foxy Boxing in what I like to...

The AfterGLOW Cruise Heats Up New York

I was 8 years old when the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
COMICS on the CAN – X-CLUB!

Science Hoooooo! The X-Club pulls out the super bork on eleven...

Samo Says – Easter in Jerusalem, Finding Holiness in the Face of Temptation

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them...

Adult Continuity – Defenders XXX

Who wants to see a low budget porn parody of the...

Event News Event Reviews
FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestra Concert 2018 – Eorzean Symphony

FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestra Concert 2018 – Eorzean Symphony Performed live...

Back To The Beach Festival Returns to Surf City April 28th and 29th

KROQ, Travis Barker and John Feldmann come together to announce Back...

Wondercon Anaheim 2018 in Photos

Last weekend was Wondercon 2018 at the Anaheim Convention Center in...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

Long Beach Punk Band ‘Spider’ Rocks ‘It’s Not Dead’ Festival

Spider is a heavy hitting punk band out of Long Beach,...

%d bloggers like this: