A RICH LOOK AT "ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD"
Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg feel the need for more strategy during "All the Money in the World."

While President Donald Trump continues class warfare in America, 80-year-old Ridley Scott arrives with “All the Money in the World” to remind us human nature runs deeper than national politics. Or the war about gender, for that matter.

Kevin Spacey wasn't even bothering straight women, but nonetheless, because of past sexual indiscretions, Spacey was fired from his role in this film, replaced by Christopher Plummer who put in nine days on the movie set and quite likely saved the whole project.

Plummer so successfully took on this challenge that it is now impossible to imagine anyone else in the role of J. Paul Getty – certainly not Kevin Spacey.

"All the Money in the World” is adapted by David Scarpa from the 1995 book by John Pearson about the 1973 kidnapping in Rome of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer, no relation) by Italian political activists asking multiple millions of dollars in ransom.

So, the heart of the film is really Scott's depiction of  Getty the elder as a wealthy piker whose soul is so black he makes the parsimonious Ebeneezer Scrooge seem sunny. We are inevitably reminded of our own President Trump's calloused concern for the bottom 90 percent of U.S. citizens.

Well, OK, the set-up is that Getty's grandson John Paul III is kidnapped in Rome and hidden in the hills south of the city. The angry but unskilled kidnappers begin their negotiations by phone with Getty in London, who refuses to pay anything.

The star and pace-setter in this whole European scenario is actually Michelle Williams as J.P. III's mother, Gail Harris, estranged from the family after she divorced Getty Sr.'s own drug addicted son, J.P. II.

Getty Sr. will have nothing to do with Gail. But he is interested in the blunt strategy of negotiations with the Italian low-lifes. Feeling intellectually and morally superior to these kidnappers, Getty is happy to let JP III dangle in the wind for as long as it takes.

Not even when the kidnappers cut off J.P. III's ear and mail it to Getty does the billionaire seem interested in considering their price.

This impasse is finally broken when the professional fixer and trusted associate Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) reminds Getty that even if he is the richest man in the world, the bottom line is that he is also the world's greatest skinflint.





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