WEEKEND REVIEW: True-life drama is on the money

Christopher Plummer (left) and Mark Wahlberg star in TriStar Pictures' ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.
Christopher Plummer (left) and Mark Wahlberg star in TriStar Pictures' ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD.
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FILM REVIEW: ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (15)

SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: MICHELLE WILLIAMS, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, CHARLIE PLUMMER, TIMOTHY HUTTON & MARK WAHLBERG

RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 12 MINS

DIRECTOR: RIDLEY SCOTT

That ‘Kevin Spacey Movie’.

After mentioning on two separate occasions that I had watched All the Money in the World – the response both times was ‘That Kevin Spacey Movie?’

For those unaware, Spacey originally starred as the film’s protagonist, J Paul Getty. The film was complete and there was even a trailer released showing him in action.

Almost straight after sexual harassment allegations were made against the actor, the decision was made to re-shoot and re-edit large parts of the film, with Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) taking over the role just weeks ahead of the release date.

I wondered whether the director’s (Oscar winning Gladiator helmer Ridley Scott) latest drama would suffer from such a tight deadline, resulting in the re-shoots being out of place alongside the original footage – but I needn’t have worried as Scott has a reputation on set, and these quick fixes seem to have been seamless.

All the Money in the World is based on true events. It focuses on J Paul Getty (Plummer), who is not only the richest man in the world, but the richest man in history. In Rome, 1973, masked men kidnapped his 16-year-old grandson (Charlie Plummer). But despite the criminals’ threats becoming more sinister, the oil tycoon refuses to part with any of his fortune to pay the ransom.

Instead, Getty sends his trusted security and business man, Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg) to seek out the captors . . . as cheaply as possible. He is joined by the boy’s mother Gail, (Michelle Williams), who had previously decided to take her son away from a life of money and greed to spoil him with love, instead.

Together, the pair become unlikely allies in this race against time.

Christopher Plummer is flawless as Getty. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Despite having limited time to learn the script and explore the character, he captured the tone perfectly – and could very well get an Oscar nod to go with it.

The last-minute casting is of course on the tip of everyone’s lips, and therefore I worry that Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) is perhaps not getting the recognition she deserves. The actress perfectly captures the emotions of a frustrated and distressed mother – and it’s actually she who holds the film together.

Unfortunately, it is Wahlberg who feels most out of place here. His one-dimensional character (who says ‘deal’ a lot) really doesn’t have much to offer.

My one other criticism is there are pacing issues with the film being a good twenty minutes longer than it should have been.

But these are minor glitches in what is generally a noteworthy movie that is well worth you being the complete opposite of Getty – by parting with your cash to go see it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Mikey Clarke