Christopher Plummer is superb as billionaire J Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s riveting thriller.
The casting of Plummer was a nail-biting race against time worthy of a movie itself. With only seven weeks to go before the December 2017 release of the film, original star Kevin Spacey was hit by a wave of sexual abuse allegations. Scott, fearing that the breaking scandal would fatally damage his movie, quickly decided to replace Spacey. Rather than delay the release, he elected to reshoot key portions of the film with Plummer stepping in. His performance earned him his third Academy Award nomination (making him the oldest-ever Oscar nominee at 88-years-old). Indeed, he’s so good you can’t imagine anyone else in the part.
The film itself focuses on the 1973 kidnapping of Getty’s grandson (Charlie Plummer, no relation) by the Calabrian Mafia and it’s a truly gripping story. Legendary for his astonishing wealth, and for his astonishing miserliness, Getty gained even more notoriety when he refused to pay the $17million ransom.
The victim languishes in squalid captivity while his anguished mother Abigail (Michelle Williams, terrific) and long-term Getty trouble-shooter Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) desperately strive to secure his release.
However, they are up against two sets of implacable adversaries: the kidnappers and the victim’s stingy grandfather, and it is touch and go which of them will prove the most obdurate.
As we build to the story’s climax, Scott keeps the tension as tight as piano wire, while his cast rise to the occasion.