Ridley Scott Deserves a Special Oscar For Re-Filming “All the Money in the World”

Matthew Loffhagen
TriStar Pictures
(Photo: TriStar Pictures)

Ridley Scott has not exactly been on-form the past few years.

The director of “Blade Runner”, “Alien”, and “Legend” has been off his game in a big way, seemingly more interested in setting up endless sequels and prequels for his existing catalog of hits than actually knuckling down and making a good movie.

That said, let’s give credit where it’s due: Ridley Scott has performed an almost impossible action with “All the Money in the World” – he reshot every scene that contained Kevin Spacey in order to completely remove the disgraced actor from the film, and he did it all in approximately one month.

That’s incredible. Scott’s movie was completely finished, and he hacked out a large chunk of it and redid the entire production, post-production, and editing, simply to remove a problematic aspect from the final cut. He managed this in an unbelievably short amount of time, so that “All the Money in the World” won’t even need a new release date.

Of course, there’s a very specific reason for Scott changing his entire film: he’s looking for an Oscar, and you can’t get an Academy Award if you film features an alleged sex offender.

(Unless your movie in “Manchester by Sea” – we haven’t forgotten you, Casey Affleck.)

Considering the harsh reaction that Hollywood has (finally) adopted towards anyone who’s accused of misconduct, “All the Money in the World” would have been completely buried if it had aired in its original form, with Kevin Spacey in a lot of gross prosthetics.

Ridley Scott’s recent few movies suggest that “All the Money in the World” probably wouldn’t have been the Oscar-bait he was hoping for in its initial form. But now? Now, it’s an automatic masterpiece because everyone knows just how far Scott went to make it the best movie it could be.

Oscar winners are often movies with incredible stories behind the scenes. “Boyhood” took twelve years to film, so it was pretty much guaranteed Best Picture.

In many respects, the Oscars are kind of like the Guinness World Records. You don’t get an award for being good at something, you get it for attempting something so foolhardy and stupid that, if you pull it off, nobody else would dare try to top you.

It’s natural, then, that critics will probably go easy on any flaws that “All the Money in the World” displays. Ridley Scott will be praised for even attempting to remove Kevin Spacey, even if the finished product bears the scars of a choppy reshoot period.

There’s a good chance that this movie could become symbolic within the industry. Hollywood could end up seeing this as a literally representation of their eagerness to exercise anyone vile or rotten from among their closed ranks.

This movie literally depicts the change that many voices in Hollywood are looking to see.

So, yeah, this movie is a strong contender for an Oscar, even if it isn’t any good.

Filmmaking is often more about what is felt than what is actually displayed on-screen. Ridley Scott has cooked up an impressive meta-narrative for the movie, and that means he’ll probably achieve his goal of winning a tiny golden statue for being good at telling other people how to use a camera.