Source: BBC News
By Nicholas Barber
Ridley Scott’s true-life kidnap drama, All the Money in the World, is destined to go down in cinema history as the film that Kevin Spacey was in, and then wasn’t in. Spacey had finished shooting his role as John Paul Getty, the filthy-rich US oil tycoon, when he was accused of sexual harassment and assault. Just six weeks before the film was due to be released, Scott announced that it wouldn’t be delayed: he would simply reshoot all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer playing Getty instead.
Spacey’s prosthetic make-up in the original trailer made him resemble an evil Muppet
Amazingly, there’s no sign of last-minute tinkering. Getty is a major character who is seen in numerous settings and alongside numerous other characters, but his scenes never seem rushed or compromised. On the contrary, they’re the best, most assured parts of an otherwise proficient but underwhelming film. I assume we’ll get to see the equivalent Spacey scenes one day, but it’s hard to believe that they’ll be better than Plummer’s.
For one thing, Getty’s old age is a key facet of his character, and the 88-year-old Plummer looks the part, whereas Spacey’s prosthetic make-up in the original trailer made him resemble an evil Muppet. For another thing, Spacey specialises in obviously slimy, Mephistophelian villains, whereas Plummer gives Getty an avuncular twinkle and a hint of vulnerability. Spacey’s characters tend to know that they’re monsters; Plummer’s Getty would be offended by the very idea.