The true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III,
and his wealthy grandfather's reluctance to pay the ransom.
All the Money in the World (2017)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by David Scarpa
Starring Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer,
Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris,
Timothy Hutton, Andrew Buchan
Based on the book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune
and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson
Oscar Nominations - Best Supporting Actor (Christopher Plummer)
As far back as we can remember, the name Getty has been synonymous with wealth and power. The oil dynasty created by J. Paul Getty made him, at one point, the wealthiest man in the history of the world. Despite his seemingly limitless resources, Getty remained thrifty and held onto his money for dear life, even when his favorite grandson was kidnapped by the Italian mob. They demanded $17 million for his return, and Getty simply said no. All the Money in the World tells a dramatized version of this exchange that occurred in the mid-1970's, with Getty deciding the life of his grandson was worth less than a fraction of his fortune.
Unfortunately, this film was overshadowed by controversy last year when it was revealed that the film's star Kevin Spacey had been accused of sexual abuse. Ridley Scott's decision to erase Spacey from the film and replace him with Christopher Plummer became the only thing people were talking about in regards to the film. Plummer delivers a strong performance that shows two sides to J. Paul Getty. A miserable old miser and a somewhat warm grandfatherly figure. I don't think Spacey would've been as up to the task, even before the accusations. I do think it's sad that we will likely never see his performance. I'd like to see how the two stack up against one another. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg do a decent job, but Plummer steals the show.
All the Money in the World is an engaging film about a crisis that befell a mother and her child, simply because she married into the wrong family. I don't know exactly how many liberties Ridley Scott took with history, but if any of this is to be believed, then J. Paul Getty was barely human. He felt money was all that mattered and he would never be satisfied until he had more. He was like a real-life Ebenezer Scrooge. I don't know the state of the Getty family now, but this entire situation has to have weighed over their heads for decades. Anyway, the movie is good and worth a watch, regardless of the controversy.