Thursday, December 28, 2017

All the Money in the World

Yesterday I saw All the Money in the World, starring Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams.

The film is based on the true story of Paul Getty's kidnapping in 1973. Getty (Charlie Plummer) was of course the grandson of JP Getty (Christopher Plummer), the billionaire oil tycoon.

Gail Getty (Michelle Williams) receives a call one day that her son Paul has been abducted and the kidnappers are demanding a ransom of $17 million. Though she's not in contact with her drug-addicted ex-husband, she does appeal to his wealthy father for the money, which he flatly refuses, suspecting Paul staged the kidnapping himself to extort cash from him.

As the weeks go on, it's evident the abduction is real, but Getty still can't be convinced and getting tired of waiting, the captors sell him to another group of criminals who aren't as nice (the first group let him listen to the radio, fed him relatively well, etc.)—everything escalates and a violent action is taken to prove they're serious.

It's only then that the victim's grandfather considers the situation 'real' and decides to help ... with conditions.

The film is heart-pounding suspenseful, even if you know the outcome. To say the acting is good would be an understatement, especially considering that this film was "in the can" so to speak when Kevin Spacey's controversy emerged and director Ridley Scott decided to replace him with Christopher Plummer.

How they seamlessly re-shot all of the senior Getty's scenes and edited them into the final print in time for their original release date is baffling to me, but they did. And they did it well.

No one would ever know that Plummer came in on the fly or that any of the scenes were filmed out of sync with the rest. It's flawless and the story is so strong, you forget about the "replacement" about 5 minutes in.

I loved this movie because it's a good movie, but I recommend it with twice as much emphasis because of the circumstance.


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