All the Money in the World

They pushed the screening for this movie back a week after the decision was made to edit Kevin Spacey out, and replace his scenes with Christopher Plummer. After 10 days, and $10 million dollars, it was complete. Unfortunately, I was already flying back to the East Coast to visit the wife’s family. Luckily, the manager at the Regal Cross Keys cinemas in New Jersey was nice enough to let me come in from the 20 degree cold weather and watch it in his warm theater.

This true story is based on the kidnapping of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty’s grandson (played by Charlie Plummer, no relation).

Christopher Plummer is perfect in this role, as he’s played these types of characters so many times in the past (heck, he just played it as Scrooge last month). That type of baggage, and the fact that you’re thinking about how he was the replacement, is a tad distracting. But once Mark Wahlberg shows up as Getty’s right-hand man/fixer, you kind of wish Plummer could’ve also replaced him. It’s the most miscast he’s ever been. He just doesn’t have the gravitas to pull off this character (and in one scene, we see he has the red Corvette he was driving in Boogie Nights). The rest of the cast is incredible, though. Michelle Williams, as the grieving mother of the kidnapped grandchild, might get some award consideration. It’s an understated and strong performance. French actor Romain Duris, playing one of the kidnappers, is terrific.

The story takes place in Rome in 1973, when a teenage John Paul Getty III is kidnapped. It’s not a spoiler to mention that the billionaire refuses to pay the ransom (that’s shown in the trailers).

The movie had some cliches, and it changed a bit from what happened in real life. Plummer was also a bit old for one of the flashback scenes to the late ‘40s. But overall, the movie worked. You’re never bored watching the 2 hour and 15 minute movie, and the camera work from Dariusz Wolski was solid. The greys in the flashbacks were nicely done.

It would be nice to see this movie make a profit at the box office, with all the money that was wasted with the Spacey fiasco. I’m just not sure there will be enough interest in the story. My wife and I both enjoyed it.

3 stars out of 5.