Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Not really worth ‘All The Money In The World’

Published:Monday | January 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Contributor
Academy Award winner Gail Harris (left) and Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg, in ‘All the Money in the World’.

What would you do if you had all the money in the world? That's a question that for most people, remains purely hypothetical, but in 1973, that was the reality of J. Paul Getty. The film touts Getty's wealth as being more than has ever been owned in human history when he lived. While that might not be empirically accurate, it makes for a good tagline. Still, it's more than enough to pay for the safe return of his kidnapped grandson. But when asked how much he would give up in order to see his grandson again, he simply responds, "nothing."

That's the event that kicks off All The Money In the World, a story about the pitfalls of greed, wealth and the importance of family. It's also the film that was supposed to star Kevin Spacey, but now stars Christopher Plummer, who reportedly filmed his scenes in a matter of nine days. That changeover might be the best thing that could've happened for the film, as this is certainly Christopher Plummer's show. The 88-year-old actor elevates the production with a complex and rewarding performance.

 

Good acting

 

In fact, Plummer is so good, he puts his co stars to shame. It's not that Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams are bad. On the contrary, Williams' take on the frustrated mother of a kidnapped child is touching. For Mark Wahlberg, as the ex-cia agent hired to find the boy, is his least obnoxious performance in years. Everyone does their best in the movie, especially Charlie Plummer, Christopher Plummer's real life grandson, who plays the character of John Paul Getty III.

There's plenty to love about All The Money in the World. It's not a true story that makes you question its authenticity, however inauthentic it may be. The problem is, the movie is entirely too long. Forty minutes cut from the runtime could have made this the best movie of the year. As it stands, it's still one of the best, but for the movie - about getting the best deal you can - perhaps see it at a discount.