Not So Deep Thoughts: 1.3.18
movie » 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. – J.J.
Viewed at AMC Creve Coeur 12
app » bubble level
The virtual world has taken over so many aspects of our lives, but who would have thought hardware tools would be one of them? This free app is incredibly accurate and easy to use. No need to go to the garage to dig out your level. Simply grab your smartphone and the pile of picture frames you’ve been meaning to hang for months. It also features other handy tools like a metal detector and those for measuring angles and surface flatness.
book » unraveling oliver: a novel by Liz Nugent
The Irish author makes the story of sociopath Oliver Ryan both horrifying and heartbreaking, which is hard to do. The narrative shifts between the key characters so you have some understanding of why Oliver is so awful. The dark thriller moves at a quick pace as Oliver grows up, and if the first line doesn’t want to make you read more, nothing will.
podcast » revisionist history by Malcolm Gladwell
Available on iTunes. These podcasts will make you feel smarter. Gladwell, author and reporter for The New Yorker, currently has two seasons of podcasts that examine topics that have been forgotten or misunderstood, ranging from why NBA player Wilt Chamberlain couldn’t make a free throw to the story of critical capitalization as it relates to education. Last time I thought about critical capitalization, I was in college. He does a great job of weaving stories with interviews so it doesn’t sound like a college lecture.