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"To Be a Getty is an Extraordinary Thing...."

Posted on the 10 June 2018 by Jamesswezey
Before I watched All the Money in the World I didn't know much about the Getty family other than that they were quite wealthy and influential. I'm not entirely certain how accurate the film is to what really happened to John Paul Getty III back in 1973, or to the nature of the senior Getty, but I have a feeling the essence of the film is true. The film is about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III who is then held for the ransom of $17 million of which his grandfather refuses to pay. His mother, Gail Harris/Mrs. Getty (married to John Paul Getty II) then does what she can to get the money to pay her sons' kidnappers. So the film is this hybrid suspense/drama, which actually works quite well. I will say this briefly, I watched some video of the real John Paul Getty, and its a shame that Ridley Scott replaced Kevin Spacey; he would have been perfect, as the appearance was quite similar. I would like to say that the star of the show was Christopher Plummer as the elder Mr. Getty, but it was actually Michelle Williams as Gail Harris who stole the show. There was something about her role that she made seem so easy that she slipped right into it effortlessly, and did so with all of the strength, vigor and passion that any mother would have if one of her children were kidnapped. She definitely deserved an Oscar nomination for her performance. Christopher Plummer is one of those actors that should be in more films and sadly isn't (like Christopher Lee), but his performance was amazing, and he actually did receive an Oscar nomination, but he should have had a larger role in the film; that would have sent it over the edge in a great way. I think he captured the wealthy billionaire fantastically, but I do think that Kevin Spacey would have done a finer job. Mark Wahlberg played essentially the elder Mr. Getty's fix-it man. It is a type of role that he has played on numerous occasions, and there was nothing really interesting or compelling about his character. Charlie Plummer played John Paul Getty III and I have to say he had the weakest performance of any person in the entire film, which is a great shame. I think his mediocre performance was one of the only blights of the film. The rest of the cast was good, but you watch this film for the suspense of the story, and for Michelle Williams' performance as well as Christopher Plummer's.
Ridley Scott directed the film, and he did quite a good job with it, but there wasn't anything really remarkable about the film. David Scarpa wrote the screenplay which was based off the book written by John Pearson. The plot and the story moved along well with very few distractions or slow moments, but nothing once again was remarkable. Daniel Pemberton's film score was surprisingly good; most of it is rather forgetful, but there is one motif that I will dub the Getty theme that is brilliant. It rings of something old and powerful, yet romantic and rich with years of something more than meets the eye. I'd definitely keep this man on your radar if you care for film composers (Ridley Scott has a knack for finding and using rarely known/new film composers in his films to great success). The cinematography by Dariusz Wolski was good, although as I keep say about the film overall, was nothing remarkable, as were the other technical elements of the film. Now, I write all of this not to say that the film is mediocre, but rather it is nothing exceptional; it is a good, solid movie and one that I enjoyed with fairly solid performances. Fifteen years from now though, this film will be forgotten and I'm sure it will be remade or its subject matter revisited as Hollywood has no good, original creative thinking left in it. If you enjoy solid dramas or true life crime stories, then this film is for you; there was only one scene that made me squeamish and that I didn't watch. If none of that is your forte than you had better stick with films like Thor: Ragnarok. On a different note relating to the film All the Money in the World it is curious that some people for their entire lives pursue wealth and the trappings that accompany it, yet when they die all of it gets left behind. Despite having all of the money in the world, a person cannot cheat or overcome death, so perhaps people should invest in the only thing that lives on after death; people. Lately in the news there have been several high profile celebrity suicides, and also there was a report in the Wall Street Journal indicating that suicide rates are rising across all 50 states in the United States. When an individual cares more about fame, wealth, power, influence, career success, or anything more than people the odds are not only will it hurt that individual, but the people around him or her. My suggestion to avoid all of this is to invest in people, and I'm not talking about fiscal means alone, but also care, personal sacrifice, and emotional support. A person can find more joy and satisfaction in life the more one helps and gives to others. Just something to think about.
All the Money in the World  trailer
All the Money in the World clip
John Paul Getty Interview
Sicario: Day of the Soldado trailer (could be good?)

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