I recently saw two movies during this winter holiday season. First, I saw All the Money in the World. I was inspired to do so after seeing an interview with Christopher Plummer. He took Kevin Spacey’s place at the midnight hour as J. Paul Getty. He is now 88 years old and he had only a few days to do the filming so that it could make the Christmas Day deadline.
Of course, we all loved him as Captain Von Trapp in the beloved film The Sound of Music. Interestingly, he had no love for the movie or the character that he played but it is that part as the family patriarch for which he is most remembered.
Christopher Plummer was superb in his performance as the miserly oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty. Most of the movie focused on the kidnapping of his grandson in Italy at the age of 16. Plummer was quite convincing as one who held on very tightly to his purse strings. He was shown with his laundry hanging in the hotel bathroom that he had washed by hand as opposed to paying the staff.
His grandson was held for several months by his captors before Getty paid the ransom and the teen severely suffered during the ordeal. Surely, there will be an Oscar buzz for Christopher Plummer’s classic acting and for Michelle Williams, who played Gail, young Getty’s desperate mother. Also, Mark Wahlberg was fantastic as Fletcher Chase, an advisor to both Gail and Getty.
Secondly, I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The instant battles jarred me awake during this early morning viewing. There was constant conflict between the forces and I had a bit of a time keeping up with all of the characters. There were many in the cast but the sound effects and high-levels of creativity kept me on the edge of my seat as I followed the many twists and turns of the plot.
I felt frustrated at times and I then remembered my real reason for coming to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I had enjoyed other Star Wars movies but this was my personal time to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher. It would be the last time to see her as Lela- this time as Lela Organa. She was smooth, reserved and mature in her role and she appeared to have found some inner secret to life’s mysteries. She had evolved from the anxious voice that had written Postcards from the Edge many years ago.
At the end of the movie, it was apparent that the Jedi would survive after being engaged in multiple battles with the forces of darkness. The children had witnessed it all and some were already emulating Luke Skywalker. There was hope.
Christopher Plummer and Carrie Fisher were my incentives for seeing both movies. As a result, I learned about the Getty history while the stage designs and props from Star Wars showcased the power of imaginative minds.
It was a grand opportunity to see the golden-aged Christopher Plummer plunge into a great, impromptu role and a chance to get a final wink from Carrie Fisher who is still speaking to us from the other side. Both actors helped my Christmas break shine even more brightly!
Lynn M. December 30, 2017