RIDLEY Scott apparently wanted Christopher Plummer to play the grouchy John Paul Getty in All The Money in the World, but the Hollywood money men wanted a “bigger name” – so Kevin Spacey was cast in the role, and when the sex abuse scandal engulfed Spacey, it was Plummer who was drafted in for two weeks intensive re-shooting.
According to the reviews, it not only saved the film from the waste bin of history, but also put the right man in the role, with Plummer garnering almost as many plaudits as Michelle Williams has for her role as his daughter-in-law, fighting to rescue her teenage son from his merciless kidnappers.
It’s a busy time for Christopher Plummer – fresh from making headlines with All The Money In the World, he has also starred as Scrooge with Dan Stevens as Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas, and he plays the exiled Kaiser in the Second World War drama, The Exception, on screen with Moviola in January.
The Exception is set at the time of the Nazi invasion of Holland and follows German soldier Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) on a mission to investigate exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer), living in a secluded mansion in the Netherlands. The Nazi authorities fear that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt discovers is Jewish.
When Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan), head of the SS, decides to come for an unexpected visit with a large platoon of Nazis, the stage is set for a breathtaking showdown, as secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and Brandt is forced to make the ultimate choice between his country and his heart.
The Exception is at Codford’s Woolstore Theatre on 10th January, and thereafter at Somerton, Crowcombe, Tatworth and Boscombe (Shelley Theatre).
Dunkirk, the acclaimed retelling of the story of how defeat and retreat became part of the narrative of British heroism in the Second World War, begins its January screenings with Moviola, at South Petherton’s David Hall on Friday 5th and thereafter at Beaminster, Hawkchurch, Odcombe, Mere, Chard, Colyton, Combe St Nicholas, East Stour, Watchet, Hythe, Motcombe, Brockenhurst, Winterslow, Nether Stowey, Winsford and Castle Cary (Caryford Hall).
My Cousin Rachel is a powerful adaptation of Rebecca du Maurier’s great romantic drama. It stars Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and has a string of January screenings, starting at Shrewton on Monday 8th, followed by Yetminster, Hanging Langford, Ringwood, Sherborne, Tisbury, Crowcombe, Leigh, Westbury, Frogham, South Petherton (David Hall), Halstock, Bickenhall, Bishopstone, Fordingbridge, Nether Wallop, Downton and Steeple Ashton.
The Limehouse Golem, an atmospheric thriller set in Victorian times, starring Bill Nighy as an eccentric detective, is at Kingsbury Episcopi on Thursday 4th January, and also at Colerne, Rode, Edington and Norton St Philip.
Churchill, one of two films currently on release, looking at critical periods for the Prime Minister in the Second World War, is at Bothenhampton on Saturday 20th January, and also at Marnhull.
Victoria and Abdul, the story of an unlikely friendship between the Queen (Dame Judi Dench) and an Indian servant, is at Beer on Monday 22nd January with more screenings at Croscombe, Sturminster Newton (the Exchange), Milborne Port and East Knoyle.
Other films during the month are Lost In Paris, at Bourton, Martock, Watchet and West Camel; Hampstead at Fontmell Magna; Warminster (Civic Centre), My Pure Land at Wookey Hole; The Big Sick at Nunney and Boscombe (Shelley Theatre); Kedi at Castle Cary (Caryford Hall),
For regular weekly listings of Moviola screenings, see the Fine Times Recorder film section and for full details of films and venues, visit www.moviola.org
Pictured: Scenes from The Exception, My Cousin Rachel, The Limehouse Golem, and Victoria and Abdul.