All The Money in the World
Ridley Scott has for the most part, been on a downward spiral in recent years. With recent films like Exodus, The Counselor, and Alien: Covenant, it was hard to see what made Scott’s work so special in the first place. All The Money in the World is a film that garnered attention for the wrong reasons. In the wake of Kevin Spacey’s recent sexual allegations and his axing from the film, the film made buzz for the expensive Christopher Plummer replacement reshoots. This was definitely a good idea. While not perfect, this film is Scott’s best film in a while and shows that he can still pull off something good.
The film is based on the crazy real life story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and the negotiations between the kidnappers and his mother and extremely frugal grandfather, John Paul Getty Sr. The Getty’s receive Getty III’s severed ear in the mail because of delayed reactions in trying to get the hostage money together. The film shows just how unwilling Getty Sr. was in spending a dime, even at the expense of his grandsons life.
I thought the backstory for the film was insane but that was the allure of the film. Replacing the disgraced Spacey with Plummer was probably for the best, because Plummer is actually fantastic in this. Getty Sr. is a rather fascinating character and just trying to see how selfish and frugal he was mind-boggling.. He had short time to work on the film yet puts on one of his best performances. Michelle Williams is also a workhorse of a performer, and its no different here. I hope neither of these two get lost in the Award season shuffle because of the negativity associated with Spacey.
The film does suffer from the long running length and a middle act that drags, however I think the performances and dark nature of the film keep it going. It’s not near Scott’s early and best work in sci-fi but it shows that with a good script he has still got the style and ability to bring forth an engaging bio drama. Definitely worth a watch just to see the madness involved.