Imagine that you're a director and you've getting ready for the release of your newest film but the film's star is accused of sexual assault and the studio is considering pulling the movie altogether. You'd probably think “well, that's that” but not if you're Ridley Scott. When the star of All the Money in the World Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault, director Ridley Scott said, “I'll just reshoot all of his scenes with the actor I wanted in that role in the first place and I'll still release on the original release date”. A daunting task but somehow, he pulled it off and you can't even tell.
All the Money in the World is based on the true story of the kidnapping of the 16-year old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his mother Gail to convince his billionaire grandfather John Paul Getty Sr. to pay the ransom. As the kidnappers lose their patience and become more and more violent, Gail tries harder and harder and increases the public scrutiny on Getty Sr. who refuses to budge. It becomes a race against time for Gail and her unlikely ally in Getty's advisor.
Kevin Spacey was replaced by the impeccable Christopher Plummer as John Paul Getty, Sr. who captivates every scene he's in. He is always a solid dependable actor and his portrayal of Getty just makes you hate the man even more. His stubbornness is off the charts. Also starring in the film is Charlie Plummer (no relation to Christopher) as John Paul Getty III, Mark Wahlberg as Getty's advisor Fletcher Chase, and Michelle Williams as Gail Harris. As much attention as Plummer and Wahlberg have gotten for this film, it's really Michelle Williams vehicle. She's the driving force behind all of it and is another captivating presence in a film that isn't sure who the lead is among its high caliber actors. Mark Wahlberg takes a delightful backseat and lets the other actors work around him fulfilling his supporting role to the letter.
What I'm about to say is not a necessarily a reflection of All the Money in the World but I did something while watching this film that I've never done before in a theater. I've admitted to texting a couple of times, checking my watch, and reacting out loud to something but I've never fallen asleep in a theater, at least not until I watched this movie. Blame it on the recliner, the darkness, my overall tiredness, or whatever but I'm convinced it's not the fault of the movie because I enjoyed the film. It was tense, suspenseful, and wonderfully acted, I guess was just tired.
Also new this week, Molly's Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. Molly's Game is the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin who also wrote the film. You may not know his name but you know his work. He wrote most of the West Wing series, A Few Good Men, The Social Network, and Moneyball among other notable films. It stars Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba.
All those screams you hear in the movie theater are coming from the latest installment in the Insidious horror franchise. Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth entry of the series and centers around parapsychologist Elise Raineir and her continued voyage into the “further”. I haven't seen any of these films so I have no idea what that means.
The feature length painted animation Loving Vincent opens in Little Rock. The first film of its kind, it explores the life and unusual death of Vincent Van Gogh via depictions of his artworks.