Yes, this is the movie Kevin Spacey was hastily pulled from following the recent wave of Hollywood sexual harassment allegations. In a mere two weeks his position as the infamous J. Paul Getty was taken by academy award winning veteran Christopher Plummer. Directed by Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World recounts the 1973 kidnapping of the teenage Paul Getty III - held ransom for $17 million. His mother risks everything to ensure her son's safety following the billionaire Paul Getty's refusal to pay a single dime for his grandson's return.
This gritty thriller is so close to deserving all the attention in the world, but in award season All the Money in the World is by no means Best Picture material. That said, it's commendable how Scott delivered anything given the explosion of the Spacey situation that risked the entire project itself. Considering the size of Spacey's role, it becomes clear this wasn't at all an easy fix for Scott. However, with all drama swept aside you wouldn't even know Plummer had filled in so last minute - terrific is his performance.
All the Money in the World ends up a reasonably refined and focused work. The opening twenty minutes struggle to settle the story and haphazardly shifts between different time frames. Scott ultimately commits this opening to setting up the Getty story - intriguing though it is - from where they came to who they grew to be and their significance of the times.
The material doesn't leave much to explore through Scott's cinematography - which is unusually inconsistent - either richly dazzling or fantastically mediocre. He just about fulfils the visual story telling to its full potential, although when is too much ever enough? The most striking visual moments occur from the obscure doorway shots which appear often throughout the picture. Scott uses a selectively narrow colour pallet capturing a dark and gritty story with equally dark and gritty cinematography.
All the Money in the World is perfectly cast. The brilliant Michelle Williams appears to never obtain a poor role with only fantastic performances under her belt, and it becomes evident Mark Wahlberg improves with age. He frequently plays forceful masculine figures but appears to do it better each time - and of course, Christopher Plummer is Christopher Plummer, is there much else more to say?
It's fair to say Scott's All the Money in the world isn't as disastrous as it could have been. Amazing performances from three stars who continue to stand out amongst the acting crowd appearing in an engaging, dark biopic. Caught in the mist of the oscar season I'm certain it won't win all the awards in the world, but the result is still an excellent attempt.
All the Money in the World:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.