I Care A Lot is the story of Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), a con woman who makes a living by screwing over old people, for lack of a better word. Marla has an unethical arrangement with a doctor, who tips her off on potential elderly people who may or may not be declining in health.
Marla is able to convince a judge to sign over guardianship over the elders, who have no say. Marla and her partner – in life and in conning, Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) simply show up on their doorsteps, ask them to pack a few things and move them to an assisted living facility, where she cuts them off from the outside world, sells their belongings and basically cashes out at their expense.
Marla gets a tipoff about Jennifer Petersen (Dianne Weist) and goes into action immediately. Only problem is Jennifer is the mother to a former Russian boss, Roman (Peter Dinklage) and it all goes wonky from there.
This movie was a hot mess…but also entertaining and a huge part of it is quite frankly, Rosamund Pike’s performance. After her turn on Gone Girl (I still maintain the Oscar was hers that year) she has proven herself to be one heck of an actor. This movie could have gone so many different directions, but writer and director, J Blakeson decided to go the comedy/thriller route.
I say the movie could have gone different routes because, the main thing which the movie did not focus on is the awful treatment of older citizens and the shitty legal system that allows this to happen. We see in the first 10 minutes how Marla is able to make this happen but nothing else about it is mentioned. This is not surprising. The world tends to treat old people like they do not exist. I remember watching The Intern and the movie touched on the many ways that make senior citizens feel invisible (go figure, it was directed by a woman). We clearly see how unfairly the system works against them but it sure was not a focal point in the movie.
Most of the hot mess-edness could be found in the second half of the movie. There was just so many things that were unrealistic and you kinda had to turn a blind eye and let it go, but let’s just say my eyebrows were raised to the highest heavens, a lot. I was satisfied with the ending and that’s all I have to say without giving any spoilers.
Marla is actually loosely based on a true character (you can read here to see the inspiration) and to pull this con off, you have to practically be the devil, which she was. Pike, in all of her bad ass-can’t and won’t lose attitude portrays this perfectly with her fantastic wardrobe and vape pen as accents. It was interesting and disjointed how Marla at some point, tried to blame her bad behavior on sexism. Didn’t make sense to me. Gonzalez as Fran was just perfect and played her supporting role at the right dial. I think Dianne Weist was completely wasted in her role and I also did not like that the idiot judge was black (Isiah Whitlock). Chris Messina shows up for a bit in the movie and it’s always a pleasure to see him on screen.
Overall, like I mentioned earlier, I think the movie, plot wise and execution wise, was a hot mess and had a lot of holes but it did not spoil my enjoyment of the movie. Pike gives us another fantastic performance and makes the movie worth seeing.
I Care A Lot is streaming on Netflix in the U.S and on Amazon Prime in the U.K.