Friday, December 29, 2017

Kevin Spacey replaced in All The Money In The World - review

Kevin Spacey replaced in All The Money In The World - by CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER review: Gretty as an inveterate miser.

 The star had been paid. So he performed best ever.

There was nothing in his contract to say his part couldn’t be taken by somebody else. Actors being replaced at the last minute isn’t new. Lavish Elizabeth Taylor vehicle Cleopatra (1963) was shot first with Keith Baxter as Augustus Caesar but when Taylor fell ill and the production shut down before moving to Italy with a new director, his part was played by Roddy McDowall; Samantha Morton originally voiced the computer operating system in Spike Jonze’s Her but was replaced by Scarlett Johannsson during post-production; 

Colin Firth did the original voice-over for Paddington before the producers decided to go with Ben Whishaw instead. Exceptional performance It helps, of course, that, in this case, Plummer gives such an exceptional performance as Getty. There is a revealing moment late on in the film when Getty is seen all alone, sitting by the fire in his huge, draughty mansion, Sutton Place. The world’s richest man looks frail and very lonely. His money can’t keep the grim reaper at bay. Ridley Scott shoots the scene in a way that self-consciously echoes the start of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, in which the wealthy magnate Charles Foster Kane is shown close to death, whispering the enigmatic word, Rosebud. Christopher Plummer in a scene from “All the Money in the World.” Photo: Giles Keyte/Sony Pictures via AP Scott has said that Spacey’s performance was “colder” than that given by Plummer. Whether on stage as Richard III or as the Hollywood producer in Swimming With Sharks or as the politician on the make in House Of Cards, Spacey has always excelled at portraying ruthless, Machiavellian types. The pleasure in his performances comes from their extravagant show of malice and cunning. Plummer is very different. Now 88, he has been a star for 50 years and is still probably best known for playing the lovable Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music. When he plays villainous types, he gives them “a twinkle and a smile,”a hint of humanity that can be both troubling and ingratiating. Victim and villain It surely benefited Plummer’s performance as Getty that he was able to limber up by playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the recent The Man Who Invented Christmas, which told the story of how Charles Dickens created A Christmas Carol. There are Scrooge-like elements to his Getty, who may have all the money in the world but is still an inveterate miser. Plummer makes Getty seem as much a victim as a villain – as rich as Croesus and miserable with it. Conventional wisdom has it that the best screen actors immerse themselves utterly in their roles. We all know that Robert De Niro drove cabs incognito in the run-up to Taxi Driver and that he both gained and shed prodigious amounts of weight to play the boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Plummer can’t have undertaken any such Method-style preparation but he didn’t need to: his performance has a gravitas and pathos that suggests he was perfect casting for the role all along.

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INVETERATE MISER= cannot be changed. "The star had been paid.
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