By Marc Woodfork
“All the Money in the World” tells the true story of the kidnapping of the grandson of J. Paul Getty in the early 1970’s. The film is directed by Ridley Scott who has proven with this film that when he’s on his game and wants to make a great film, there’s no one better at the craft.
The movie is brilliant on multiple levels. Ridley Scott hasn’t been this good since “Gladiator”. The pace and tone of the film is phenomenal. Even knowing the actual outcome of the story, you find yourself at the edge of your seat wondering how its all going to play out. Very few directors can build suspense like Ridley Scott.
Another bright light is the performance of Michelle Williams who plays the mother of kidnapped J. Paul Getty III. She’s nothing less than elegant and spectacular in this role.
The star that shines brightest is, without a doubt, Christopher Plummer as the ruthless, enigmatic billionaire J. Paul Getty Sr. It’s by far the best role he’s ever done in a long and distinguished career. He nails all of the subtleties and bizarre character traits of the real Getty. The film runs a whopping two hours and twenty minutes, but not at any moment does it feel long.
The film does a superb job of getting to the real themes of being super rich and feeling like you can do anything you want because of your money and status. The kidnapping is just the subplot. This is easily one of the best films of the year — a very good suspense/thriller with an undertone of how money can change, influence and decide who may live or die.