J. PAUL GETTY HAD A FORTUNE. EVERYONE ELSE PAID THE PRICE.
In 1973, the grandson (Charlie Plummer) of the world’s richest man, J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), is kidnapped by Italian mobsters and a ransom is demanded; however, Getty refuses to pay. This sordid, reality-based story is vividly brought to life by Ridley Scott who maintains tension in spite of a few lulls and a long running time. The film paints a depressingly dark but absorbing portrait of Getty, a man who was obscenely wealthy and made sure his family understood that there could be no compromises or compassion. Plummer is excellent as the charismatic billionaire and Michelle Williams outstanding as the woman who lives to regret marrying into the clan. The kidnapping drama has its nail-biting moments.
2017-U.S.-Britain. 132 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Chris Clark, Quentin Curtis, Dan Friedkin, Mark Huffam, Ridley Scott, Bradley Thomas, Kevin J. Walsh. Directed by Ridley Scott. Screenplay: David Scarpa. Book: John Pearson (”Painfully Rich”). Music: Daniel Pemberton. Cast: Michelle Williams (Gail Harris), Christopher Plummer (J. Paul Getty), Mark Wahlberg (Fletcher Chase), Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris, Marco Leonardi… Timothy Hutton.
Trivia: Kevin Spacey was originally hired to play Getty and shot his scenes; when he was exposed as a sexual predator in October 2017, Scott recast the role only one month away from the premiere. Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman were allegedly considered for the part of Gail; Jack Nicholson as Getty. The story was also told in the first season of the TV series Trust.
Last word: “When I worked with Kevin, we got on very well, and he did a great job […] I’d describe his performance as colder. With Chris [Plummer], he’s got this inordinately handsome, ageless face, with a smile that is charming and a glitter in his eye. With the same words, somehow, he’s more lethal.” (Scott, Gold Derby)