Here, we have the true story of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III, and his mother Gail’s (Michelle Williams) desperate attempt to convince the richest man in the world – to pay the ransom once he is kidnapped. What gives this story immense intrigue, is the fact that man happens to be JPG’s grandfather. After Getty Sr. refuses, her son’s captors become exceedingly impatient and increasingly brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s adviser (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time.
When people hear about this film, the majority will now think about Kevin Spacey getting replaced due to his sexual misconduct from years past. Director Ridley Scott felt the need to cut Spacey out, an extremely expensive($20 million+) and time consuming endeavor which the studio deemed worth it. At this point, it’s hard to argue against their decision since Christopher Plummer is indeed, superb, and washing the Spacey dirt off their hands seemed to be the only appropriate course of action.
The acting in this film is without question the best facet it has to offer. The cast and crew does a phenomenal job capturing the historical accuracy, the time period, its composition, and the dedication to their individual characters. Collectively, this is one of the best ensembles of the season, certainly deserving of the Golden Globe and soon to be Oscar noms they’ll be receiving.
Alongside Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg was solid (which is 50/50 nowadays) and particularly convincing in his portrayal. The best counter to Plummer’s performance, though, was that of Michelle Williams. Another check-mark on her extremely long list of powerful roles, whilst not quite Manchester by the Sea great, but pretty darn close.
So, I actually have to contradict myself a bit here. The acting, hands-down is the best aspect of All The Money In The World, but that is unfortunately for everybody besides one of the more pivotal characters in the film. Yup, you guessed it, Charlie Plummer, the kidnapped grandson (coincidentally Christopher Plummer’s grandson also) is actually far from exceptional. If I could describe his acting in one word it would be meh. Two words, uninspiring meh. Three…shitty uninspiring meh.
Essentially, if they had never showed him and made the movie solely around the events that took place in order to get him back… this film would’ve been much better off. Showing just the emotion of shock and fear during this films entirety is something, I gotta say, a kid in a novice LA acting class could’ve done.
This, for me, brought down the movie’s entertainment value and overall interest a great deal. Shocking, that the talented Ridley Scott failed to realize the lack of diverse emotion and reckons this role to be acceptable and sufficient enough for the shoot and editing.
Altogether this movie becomes a decently enjoyable one-time-see, with it’s only lasting impact being the acting of Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams. As the saying goes, “love of money is the root of all evil”, though I’d honestly argue this blatant miscast is even more malign.
By Nick Weninger