All the Money in the World review
What's the right balance between success at work and success with your family? That's hard to say. The best way took look at it is what person your examining. For most, they work for their family. Everyone has the right to do whatever it takes to protect their family, and that includes making sure they have a place to sleep and eat. There's nothing wrong with the goal of having plenty of wealth so that they don't need to worry about their finances. But when you've become so sure that nothing bad will happen, what does that do to the entrepreneur? It twists their mind to ensure that more is never enough and from that, they keep climbing a ladder towards nothing.
This is a case for a lot of greedy individuals that only think about themselves. They see themselves as a constant target that people will ask more of. In a way, their right. A lot of people will see their wealth and fortune an equal to success. Now the rich man has every right to do what he sees. For the case of John Getty, his personal wealth is in question in All the Money in the World.
John Paul Getty (played by Christopher Plummer) is the wealthiest person is history, making his fortune in oil. Though he has everything he's ever wanted (a nice home, art, etc…), he isn't sure if having his family in his life is a part of it. In the 1964, when his adult son John Getty Jr. (played by Andrew Buchan) writes a letter asking for work, his father flies his family out to Rome and offers him the chance to lead the European businesses. At first, things seem to play out well, with John Getty senior even boding with his grandson John Getty III (played by Charlie Plummer). But with every family, comes disagreements.
In 1973, teenage John Getty III is kidnapped with a ransom demand of $17 million. His mother Gail Harris (played by Michelle Williams) doesn't receive any alimony from the Getty family, so she doesn't have it. When she tries to get it (or even some of it) from John Getty Sr., he flat out says he'd pay nothing, thinking it's all just a ploy from his grandson for money. Nevertheless, he sends his advisor Fletcher Chase (played by Mark Wahlberg), a former CIA operative to work with Gail to help find her son.
All the Money in the World has a lot to say about the Getty family in general. A lot of it centering around the complications that many wealthy families go through when everyone assumes that their all rich. These parts are quite fascinating; John Getty Sr. going through his conflicting love for his grandchildren and his money, Gail trying to prove she's not a greedy individual who simply can't pay, and even John Getty III's trial during his kidnapping. No one is technically a villain. Their all just characters that you either accept or not for their actions.
This movie is an actors game, with everyone fantastic. I liked Mark Wahlberg, who understands his position being the heart in-between John Getty's voice of reason and actual help for Gail Harris. I liked Michelle Williams, who carries the pressure from the press who unfairly treats her with anger. The clear winner here is Christopher Plummer (who replaced Kevin Spacey), who could have easily made himself a Scrooge-like miser…and he is, but there a lot more to him. He's a king who hates that people want a lot out of him, but his weakness for his grandchildren does push a possible spot for family he wasn't sure he wanted.
What does prevent All the Money in the World from being one of my favorites of 2017 is the tone and pacing. The movie is at it's best when it's more of a detective scenario with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, constantly putting together the pieces to find her son. While I understand that a lot of movies need to change for dramatic effect, I don't fully buy the more "action" aspects of the story (I won't give it away, but it feels like something from a spy thriller then a retelling of a kidnapping).
I'll give this four Getty Museums out of five. I like the story of John Getty and his family. I like the story of his grandson's kidnapping. Do I like this movie? I did, though I still feel like that a documentary or book of the ordeal would be more straightforward. I still recommend the movie however. It's a little longer then needed, but it's entertaining. Give it a go and see if this is really worth all of the money in the world.