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FOR ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
© 2018 Ron Barbagallo
FOR ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
All the Money in the World is director Ridley Scott's new biopic about J. Paul Getty and the relationship Getty had with his family versus the relationship he preferred to have with money and the empire he built. It warns on the perils of addiction. Not just the addiction to drugs, or the addiction to power and money. All the Money in the World also warns on — the addiction to oneself.
Based on the 1995 John Pearson book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, All the Money in the World is also a film that ironically got kidnapped — not unlike the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty's grandson Paul Getty, the individual whose abduction was supposed to be the main topic for discussion about this motion picture.
This is what makes the drama inside the film and the drama outside feel intertwined. Because the movie watching experience was also taken hostage by circumstances no one saw coming. So much so, that
any moviegoer who attempts to watch All the Money in the World might find it impossible to experience the film without first referencing the vitriol which swarmed Online around the professional choices of Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, and in the case of Kevin Spacey, what is and what was a history
of sexual transgressions that were no revelation to anyone working in and around Hollywood. A volcanic spray of toxic 'tweets' and 'all knowing' Facebook comments around these three buried the original version of All the Money in the World under a deadly pile of Internet ash and Herculaneum pumice. That version is now a relic. An object of antiquity aborted before it was even given life.
In order to douse the Online fire, and try to protect their forty million dollar investment, TriStar Pictures made a risky decision. They postponed the release of their film, and asked director Ridley Scott to reassemble a majority of the cast so all but one scene with actor Kevin Spacey could be replaced with new film footage Scott shot featuring veteran actor Christopher Plummer. The reshoot cost TriStar additional ten million dollars and took ten days to film.
All of this is makes watching All the Money in the World a genuine struggle because enjoying the movie
on its own right takes second place to thinking about the soap opera around the film, and what is a real temptation to look for the cinematic stitches used to retrofit this beast. So overwhelming a temptation that anyone trying to watch All the Money in the World ends up feeling like they are a victim too. This is why any review of this film would be remiss without framing its discussion around what was this jury of public emotion and not a trial by jury of anyone's peers. This is the Medieval town square we live in now. The one we resurrected. A place where emotions swell to the point where we circumvent Due Process.
This drama is also why it's easy to skip over this film's real accomplishment — how well director Ridley Scott was able to take the new scenes he shot and seamlessly integrate them into the old ones so the remade version of the film plays like a coherent whole. So great an accomplishment is this that after 40 minutes or so, I quit trying to gauge how well the cinematography matched, how consistent the color timing was, or how well the actors were able to appear to hold an emotional tone from the old footage
to the newly shot scenes. Instead, I surrendered to how fluid the storytelling was, and did what the filmmakers originally wanted me to do — enjoy the movie they made.
Because when all is said and done Michelle Williams is an adult who had every opportunity to prevent
a scandal by saying "No; I want more money." The time to do that was before she signed her contract.
This sort of regret applies as much to the lesser known actresses and actors who were also called in to do reshoots but did not have the platform Williams did to voice their unhappiness. Williams and Wahlberg are in fact represented by the same Actor's Agency, an agency that negotiated a better deal for Wahlberg based on how the films he starred in 2017 were that year's biggest money makers and not on his gender. If gender were the measuring rod, all the men in the film would have paid Wahlberg salaries.
The attempt to shift responsibility back to the time and place when any actor has the power to stand
up for themselves is not meant to diminish the boundary issues and misuses of authority that surround Kevin Spacey. He is part of a much larger group of women and men who work in Hollywood whose misuses of authority routinely go unchecked. Taking advantage of others is something that is openly encouraged in the studio system, in ways conscious and subconscious, and in departments big and small. Choosing to view Hollywood through a funnel where we talk about one type of abuse speaks to the marketability of that sort of rebuke. It is a fraction of a more pervasive problem.
This is why the story — in and around — All the Money in the World remains a curious one. Not because it started out as a movie about a tycoon whose addiction to himself threatened the life of someone he held dear, but because the story of this film evolved to become a story about our culture and our addictions. Addictions that retail the idea of being a victim® like it was a holy competition, and one other type of addiction, one with more serious implications — the addiction to unchecked power trips that have turned people's feelings into a multitude of unsubstantiated, individualized facts. Feeling-based "facts" that swell until a wave of hyperbole rises and robs someone of their right to a fair and impartial trial. With nothing to hold this new world order in check, our addiction to our own feelings won't end any time soon. Not for all our very full impressions of ourselves, — and not for all the money in the world.
Christopher Plummer who replaced Kevin Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty in All The Money In The World.
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ARTICLES ON AESTHETICS IN ANIMATION
BY RON BARBAGALLO:
The Art of Making Pixar's Ratatouille is revealed by way of an introductory article followed by interviews with production designer Harley Jessup, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan and the film's writer/director Brad Bird.
Design with a Purpose, an interview with Ralph Eggleston uses production art from Wall-E to illustrate the production design of Pixar's cautionary tale of a robot on a futuristic Earth.
Shedding Light on the Little Matchgirl traces the path director Roger Allers and the Disney Studio took in adapting the Hans Christian Andersen story to animation.
The Destiny of Dalí's Destino, in 1946, Walt Disney invited Salvador Dalí to create an animated short based upon his surrealist art. This writing illustrates how this short got started and tells the story of the film's aesthetic.
A Blade Of Grass is a tour through the aesthetics of 2D background painting at the Disney Studio from 1928 through 1942.
Lorenzo, director / production designer Mike Gabriel created a visual tour de force in this Academy Award® nominated Disney short. This article chronicles how the short was made and includes an interview with Mike Gabriel.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, an interview with Graham G. Maiden's narrates the process involved with taking Tim Burton's concept art and translating Tim's sketches and paintings into fully articulated stop motion puppets.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, in an interview exclusive to this web site, Nick Park speaks about his influences, on how he uses drawing to tell a story and tells us what it was like to bring Wallace and Gromit to the big screen.
For a complete list of PUBLISHED WORK AND WRITINGS by Ron Barbagallo,
click on the link above and scroll down.
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INDEX OF SERVICES
The Ethical Method of Repair
The Attention is in the Details
Not Straw, Not Sticks, Not Brick -
The Three Pigs get a New House
the Lost and FOUND series