All The Money in the World
Based on the book by John Pearson, this film centers on the 1973 Rome kidnapping of Paul Getty (Charlie Plummer), the teenage grandson of billionaire industrialist J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer). Paul’s abductors spirit him away to an unknown hideout, where he lives in miserable conditions as they demand a huge ransom from his grandfather.
Michelle Williams plays Paul’s mother, Abigail, who spends months trying to find him with the help of ex-CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg). Her lack of tears during the ordeal seems strange, but she still manages to convey the anger and frustration of a mother who fears for her child. Christopher Plummer does an admirably gruff and gritty job of playing Paul’s tight-fisted grandfather, who cares more about his money and art collection than his own relatives. (Kevin Spacey originally was filmed in the role, but director Ridley Scott replaced him and reshot his scenes following sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.)
J. Paul Getty bluntly states in the film that family members are like parasites, and that’s why he prefers his possessions. He even speculates that Paul staged the kidnapping to extort money from him, and his emotional detachment is chilling as he initially refuses to pay the ransom. It’s a dark story, appropriately filmed in shadowy settings with lots of foreboding and cigarette smoke.
Should you see it? Yes, it’s a fast-moving film with intrigue and suspense.
Viewed at AMC Creve Coeur 12