All the Money in the World (2017)

All the Money in the World
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: David Scarpa
Based on: John Pearson‘s non-fiction book Painfully Rich: the Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty
Cast: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer
Seen on: 1.3.2018

John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), grandson of Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), one of the richest men in the world, is abducted. Despite his wealth, Jean Paul Getty is unwilling to pay the ransom, much to the horror of his daughter-in-law Gail (Michelle Williams), mother of John Paul. Instead he sends his security specialist Fletcher (Mark Wahlberg) to oversee things. But as time is running out for the teenager, both Gail and Fletcher get ever more desperate.

All the Money in the World is based on real-life events that happened before my time and I had never heard of the story. But it really is a horrible and in parts mind-boggling story that the film tells mostly well. Nevertheless, it didn’t win me over completely.

Given that the film tackles a pretty dark topic where people suffer a lot and it isn’t exactly soft about it, it’s surprisingly entertaining and doesn’t drag at all. It could have easily been dreary, but to be honest I was busier being absolutely flabbergasted and outraged and the sheer inhumanity of Getty.

Plummer gives a supercreepy performance of an unlikeable character; a miser who thinks a human life isn’t worth any amount of money – and who believes that he is indubitably morally right about that. He’s the embodiment of the worst kind of capitalism, the pathological rags to riches story.

The film shows that clearly, but at the same time it seems to try and say that that’s just the way it is, because rich people just aren’t like everybody else. And while I will concede that money – and even more so, power – can have a very corrupting influence. Be that as it may, it doesn’t excuse shitty behavior of rich people and pretending that they’re entirely different just means that different measures get applied to them.

Maybe it was that part that kept me at a distance from the film. I can’t say exactly what it was (definitely not Michelle Williams’ fantastically stunning performance), but I just never got as involved in the film as I probably should have been, despite its qualities.

Summarizing: interesting, but not great.

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