The savage, dark thriller tears along at breakneck speed with double and triple crosses galore.
The full stop at the end of I Care a Lot., suggests there is nothing more to say on the topic. One can almost hear Rosamund Pike as Marla Grayson ferociously using the full stop to quell any timid questions from weak-minded people. We first meet Marla in a blood-red dress with a sleek helmet of blond hair gently yet firmly showing a worried Feldstrom (Macon Blair) the error of his ways.
Feldstrom is upset that he is not allowed to meet his mother in the retirement home selected by Marla, the court-appointed guardian. In court, Marla explains that she only stepped in to save Feldstrom’s mother from herself and she sold some of his mother’s assets to ensure the best care for her.
As the movie progresses, we realise Marla and her girlfriend, Fran (Eiza González), have a sweet scam going. When Dr. Amos (Alicia Witt) tips them off about elderly, rich patients, Marla swoops in and gets herself appointed their legal guardian. She puts them in a retirement facility, cuts off their contact with the outside world and sells off their assets and pockets the money.
Everyone is in on the scheme from the doctor to the director of the retirement facility. Judge Lomax (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) does not seem to be corrupt, his sin seems to be that of being very easily swayed—Marla can be very convincing.
Everything seems to be going happily for all on this particularly juicy gravy train until Amos tells Marla about a particularly alluring mark. Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) is single, retired, has no relatives, is financially comfortable and lives in a beautiful house. Everything looks perfect and Marla moves in. She proves Jennifer is incapable of taking care of herself, gets appointed Jennifer’s legal guardian and sends her off to the retirement home.
And then everything comes apart as Jennifer does not seem to be the helpless old lady she appeared to be and when a scary Russian Mafia boss, Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage) begins to take interest in Jennifer, Marla and Fran seem in over their heads.
The savage, dark thriller tears along at breakneck speed with double and triple crosses galore. Pike and Dinklage are well-matched adversaries. The scam sounds eminently doable and is a sharp comment on consumerism and greed. The ending is just a little bit of a cop out, but the movie as a whole is enjoyable, full stop.
- Director: J Blakeson
- Cast: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Chris Messina, Dianne Wiest, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Macon Blair, Alicia Witt, Damian Young
- Story line: A con-woman picks the wrong mark
- Run time: 118 minutes
I Care a Lot. is presently streaming on Netflix.