13 September 2018, The Tablet

Family fortunes


Television

Family fortunes

Donald Sutherland as John Paul Getty and Harris Dickinson as his grandson, Paul
Photo:

 

In television land here’s nothing that indicates the excesses of mega-richness as speedily as a swan. Floating on a vast artificial lake, as the sacrificial roast centrepiece of a banquet, or drifting alone and symbolic among the bulrushes of some huge estate, the presence of a swan tells any viewer who needs reminding that money is the root of every evil, unhappiness and jaw-droppingly lavish television mini-series.

In the Anglo-American production Trust, British director Danny Boyle, famous for Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours and the wondrous national pageant that was the 2012 Olympics’ opening ceremony, has turned his inventive gaze towards the miserabilist family saga of the Gettys, oil billionaires.

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