Girl, bless. Until I read about the digital replacement of one of 2017’s highest-profile disgraced sex pests – who I will not name because (a) this is about you, and (b) fuck that guy) – this movie wasn’t even on my radar. Having now seen All the Money in the World, I consider it one of the few happy surprises in my year at the movies.
This year in media and entertainment has really tested my patience and sanity. I’m at the point where any plot synopsis that begins with “A greedy white billionaire…” causes my brain to short-circuit. While the film won’t rank amongst my favourites of 2017, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I wholeheartedly endorse replacing all of Hollywood’s abusive degenerates with the marvellous Christopher Plummer.* I enthusiastically await the outpouring of awards season love you (hopefully) have coming your way in the next couple of months.
While Plummer stepping in at the eleventh hour may be the film’s main point of curiosity for audiences, you, Michelle, are its main attraction. There’s just something so damn timely and relatable about your performance. Most of us have obviously never experienced the horror of having a child abducted, but still, watching your character, Gail, desperately fight to bring her son safely home struck a chord with me. You are always so amazing at depicting women in various kinds of pain that it feels redundant to say, but you added a whole other dimension to Gail that elevates her above the rest of the characters, who are all pretty flat, if you ask me. I was initially concerned that Gail would be a one-note character, hysterically begging all the strong, swaggering menfolk for their help. But she is so much more than that. I expected to watch Gail’s unraveling as the story progresses, but instead, with every humiliation she suffers at the hands of her loopy tightwad of a father-in-law, with every attempt the men around her make to take control of her, she only finds greater strength. Her fear for her son is always palpable, and you aren’t shy about showing her weaknesses to the audience. But Gail is also often the only one using any damn sense while the men around her wave their…egos at each other as they stumble from one fuck-up to the next.
Along with the stress of trying to save her son, Gail radiates the exhaustion and bafflement of a woman at the mercy of very powerful, very dangerous, and sometimes very stupid men.
In a way, your performance perfectly captures what 2017 has been like for so many women. Again, I may not know what it’s like to have my son held for ransom, but your beautifully rendered expression of “How the fuck are these assholes telling me what’s up?” is definitely one most of us have seen in the mirror recently. Like I said, All the Money in the World wasn’t the most memorable thing I saw this year, but your performance was definitely one of its cinematic highlights.
*I reserve the right to retract this statement in the event that marvellous Christopher Plummer is subsequently revealed to also be a gropey bastard, because who even knows anything about anyone anymore.