‘All the Money in the World’ Mini-Review

All the Money in the World

I think it's fair to say that All the Money in the World will be remembered as an oddity, first and foremost. It may end up being the apotheosis of the #MeToo movement's influence on Hollywood, a major film whose backers were so spooked by rumors of sexual misconduct that millions were spent on reshoots so an actor in it could literally be erased from the picture.

The replacement of Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World also may end up being one of the great artistic achievements of the movement. One can only imagine how dreadful Spacey would've been in the role of J. Paul Getty, a loony-tunes billionaire who refuses to pony up a few million to pay for the return of his beloved grandson. Plummer plays the part just right—he's a crank, and an odd one at that, but there's a sort of puzzled menace under the surface that never devolves into outright camp.

The incredibly tight schedule on the reshoots—director Ridley Scott managed to replace an entire major character in just nine days of shooting, which has to be some sort of landspeed record—also meant that there would be no time for a laborious makeup process. Which in turn meant that Scott would have to hire an actually old person to play the part. I'm not sure why, exactly, Sir Ridley has decided that layering Old People Makeup on younger actors is a good course of action (couldn't Guy Pearce's part in Prometheus have been played by, I dunno, Christopher Plummer?), but I'm glad we avoided that this time around.

Anyway. All the Money in the World is a totally fine film and actually pretty entertaining in the moment, if more or less disposable. But it is a fascinating signpost in the cultural landscape and as sure a sign as any that pretty much everyone, at this point, is replaceable.