As a signal to all #MeToo Hollywood doubters Christopher Plummer is nominated in the Oscars best supporting actor section. Presumably his nomination comes in the ‘Not Kevin Spacey’ category. The spectre of Kevin Spacey lurks in the background of this film. The double Oscar winner was airbrushed out by director Ridley Scott because Scott’s financiers decided to reshoot Spacey’s appearances. All I can say is that the airbrushed outcome is nicer than Stalin’s airbrushing of Trotsky: no ice-picks were used.
John Paul Getty’s (JPG) grandson Paul was kidnapped by cartoonish Italian gangsters who demanded $17M for Paul’s return. JPG is having none of it remarking that if he paid up then all of his family would instantly become targets. The Wikipedia entry offers this quote, “The second reason for my refusal was much broader-based. I contend that acceding to the demands of criminals and terrorists merely guarantees the continuing increase and spread of lawlessness, violence and such outrages as terror-bombings, “skyjackings” and the slaughter of hostages that plague our present-day world.” This principled stand obviously gets lost in the lachrymose drama offered by Scott.
Months drag by and finally the police get the break-through they need. The rescue is a failure but Paul jr. now becomes a real bargaining chip with gangsters who apparently know what they are doing. As if to prove that money isn’t everything- in Hollywood, in Trump’s America??- we’re offered a melodramatic release and death.
Why you should watch this film: It doesn’t have Kevin Spacey and so you’re on the side of the moral gods.
Why you shouldn’t watch this film: It’s a melodrama.