Real crime tale makes for really amazing film

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REVIEW

All the Money in the World

Stars: 5.0 out of 5.0

Starring Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Andrew Buchan, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, and Christopher Plummer

Written by David Scarpa

Directed by Ridley Scott

Rated: 14A for violence, coarse language, and smoking

Runtime: 133 minutes

Now playing at Cineplex Odeon North Edmonton and Scotiabank Theatre

 

It’s a movie that begs the question: what would you be willing to pay if one of your children was kidnapped? Many would beg, borrow or steal to pay anything. What about oil billionaire John Paul Getty? He was the richest man in the world when his grandson was kidnapped with a multi-million dollar ransom. What would he pay?

In Ridley Scott’s gripping and effective new movie All the Money in the World, we hear acting titan Christopher Plummer utter his famous response – “Nothing” – and never loses his smirk while saying it.

The real life story is an amazing tale in its own right and the film version is just as incredible. John Paul Getty III (played by Charlie Plummer, no relation to Christopher Plummer) was only 16 and somehow on his own in Rome very late one evening when a van pulled up next to him and three masked Calabrians take him forcibly, demanding $17 million.

Getty III wouldn’t pay. Getty II (Andrew Buchan) was a drug addict in Morocco by that point. It was all up to his mother, Gail Harris (played by Michelle Williams), to figure out his recovery. She was broke and disavowed from the Getty fortune, after divorcing Getty II several years prior. She not only had to fight with the Italian mafia kidnappers but she had to fight with Getty and his empire to try and get her son back.

Williams is a phenomenal actress whose New England accent and frazzled, frantic responses as Harris add the much-need emotional weight to play the counterpoint to the masterful Christopher Plummer as the ice-cold miser Getty. Plummer, with his aristocratic air and dignified stature, is the perfect casting for this role. If these two don’t earn Oscars or at least nominations with heavy odds then there clearly is no justice in the world. All the Money is a thriller played out through wildly disparate characters. It’s immediately rewatchable too. Director Scott might be in his 80s but he comes across as a consummate professional flush in his prime with this work.

That comes across even more distinctly when one considers that he finished the film with Kevin Spacey first playing Getty III. After numerous sexual misconduct allegations came to light against Spacey, his scenes were cut and octogenarians Scott and Plummer hastily filmed them to fill in the gaps. At final glance, not a beat was skipped. This was how this film was always meant to be: seamless and intense.

Oh, and Mark Wahlberg is in this movie too, playing some kind of security negotiator who works for Getty III but helps Harris anyway. Somehow, this movie stills survives Wahlberg’s flat affect or an otherwise side character.

All in all, All the Money in the World is more than well worth the price.

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About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.