I Care a Lot
Rosamund Pike plays a crooked legal guardian who makes a very bad mistake in this extremely dark comedy.
Rosamund Pike proved she was more than capable of playing dark, wicked characters when was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Amy Dunne in 2014's Gone Girl, and her latest character, Marla Grayson, gives Amy a serious run for her money.
Marla runs a business that is basically one big scam. She is a guardian who gets appointed wards by the court to take care of, meaning she is put in control of an elderly person's welfare, finances, medical decisions, and more, once that person is deemed unable to look after themselves anymore.
She is always on the hunt for new wealthy wards to drain their savings, so, with the help of her partner Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) and a crooked doctor (Alicia Witt), she makes a person who is doing perfectly fine seem incapable of their own welfare in court and gets put in charge of their life.
She makes a huge mistake when she does this to Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest).
I Care a Lot could have gone very wrong in a different pair of hands, but writer/director J Blakeson pitched it perfectly. The whole idea of the scam was awful yet brilliant and it was thrilling watching it play out with excellent pacing, particularly in the first hour.
Despite some jaw-dropping twists and turns, once all the cards are on the table and Jennifer's family become involved, it loses its way, gets a bit ridiculous, and Blakeson's grip on the story felt a little off. Thankfully, the satisfying conclusion brought it back.
The dialogue is excellent - Marla gets some fantastic lines to say and Pike seemed to relish saying them.
She is so well suited to these dark, cold-hearted, wicked roles. She's playing an evil ruthless sociopath, expert liar and someone who seems to have no moral boundaries, but she somehow makes her watchable.
Gonzalez has never been better as Marla's right-hand woman and girlfriend. She is smart, she has more substance than her usual roles, and she really sold their relationship; she just exuded desire for Marla.
Although none of the characters are at all likeable, you're still happy to watch the story because the cast do such a good job.
Wiest deserves some attention for playing the mysterious Jennifer, Peter Dinklage was terrific as Marla's nemesis Roman, and Chris Messina steals every scene he's in as a flashy, well-dressed lawyer with the gift of the gab.
I Care a Lot is the blackest black comedy you'll see in a while, and while the tone may not be up everyone's street, you can't deny that Pike is on career-best form and this is one of the most exciting new films of 2021 so far.
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