Film Review: All The Money In The World 

The film was almost ready for release when news of Kevin Spacey’s alleged sexual misconduct hit headlines and prompted the studio to beckon the 88-year-old Christopher Plummer – the oldest to win an Academy Award, at 82. The 80-year-old Ridley Scott pulled off a near miracle by refilming Spacey’s scenes (as the multi-billionaire John Paul Getty) with Plummer at an estimated cost of US $ 10 million in a record nine days.

Filmed in Italy, Jordan and London, based on the 1995 book by John Pearson and written by David Scarpa, the film recounts the true story (cinematic liberties exempted) of the 1973 kidnapping of Getty’s 16-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III – by a left-wing paramilitary organisation in Italy – played by Charlie Plummer  (no relation to the octogenarian.)
Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the child’s mother who sacrificed her father-in-law’s wealth in lieu of keeping custody of her son; Mark Wahlberg as Fletcher Chase, an ex-CIA agent and now Getty’s go-to-man; and Romain Davis as Cinquanta, one of the kidnappers who forms a bond with the captured Paul make up the major dramatis personae of the film.
The cross-cutting of scenes between the kidnapping drama and those offering insights into the man who steadfastly refuses to part with the $17 million ransom (a few drops in the bucket for Getty) makes this a biographical drama-cum-thriller.
Watch it for Christopher Plummer’s performance as the miserly and cold-hearted billionaire (‘all parasites around me’) who washes his own laundry in a 5-star hotel and who refuses to pay the ransom as ‘it’s not tax-deductible’.
Both Scott and Plummer deserve to get the proverbial nod, come Oscar season.

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