I Care A Lot is one of those films where the trailer made it look like it could go either way, as to whether it was worth a full watch. It centres around Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike – Entebbe), who’s worked out a good scam involving committing elderly people to to care homes when there’s not a huge amount wrong with them, if at all. It even goes so far as to convincing a judge so she is their legal guardian, allowing her to seize control of their assets, and auctioning off their homes and contents to not only pay for their ridiculously expensive care, but also to cream off a healthy profit for herself.
We see this early on with a court case to set the scene, where she’s done exactly this to the mother of a Mr Feldstrom (Macon Blair – Blue Ruin), including barring him from seeing his own mother. She argues that she cares when their offspring don’t, because, essentially… she cares a lot.
How she manages to convince Judge Lomax (Isiah Whitlock Jr), you’ll see, but given the actor played Senator Clay Davis in The Wire, you’ll know Davis would think her behaviour is a load of… (see compilation clip below). However, she’s clearly as ruthless as Jake Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler.
Marla’s philosphy in life is that there’s no such thing as good people, and realises that playing fair in this life doesn’t get the success to which she believes you’re entitled. In short, her’s is a business where you only get far in life by being as dodgy as a politician, as she’ll swindle families out of the inheritance they would otherwise claim from their younger relatives.
Next on her hitlist is is Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), who seems like a slam dunk because she has no family to back her up, so if Marla can get her condemed to a care home for her own apparent safety, she can cash in, yet again, starting by selling all her assets.
Meanwhile, the mysterious Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage – Avengers: Endgame) is looking for Jennifer, because he’s an ‘interested party’. He’s not all sunshine and rainbows because he deals with human trafficking amongst other dodgy dealings, yet has a fancy office in a very public place. So, the solution to get her out of the care facility is effectively to have one criminal go after another. Who will win?
I Care A Lot builds the tension brilliantly, adding in some sarcastic humour, such as when she gets a cash bribe before things potentially get ugly, she refuses, but tells the man who visits her office that he can have his parking validated when he leaves(!)
Everyone in this is on their mettle, particularly Dianne Wiest who deliciously plays her role with seething resentment against Marla. Eiza González (Hobbs and Shaw: Fast and Furious) takes the role of Marla’s partner-in-crime Fran, although the fact they’re in a romantic relationship together does just seem thrown into the plot for the sake of it.
As an aside, quite frankly, swindlers should have their genitals removed, be shoved up their own backsides, and then shot at dawn. Well, perhaps first, take the Marsellus Wallace approach, and get to work on them with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. YMMV.
Many thanks to our friends at Amazon Prime Video for being able to check this film out prior to release.
Running time: 119 minutes
Release date: February 19th 2021
Studio: Amazon Prime Video
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: J Blakeson
Producers: J Blakeson, Michael Heimler, Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman
Screenplay: J Blakeson
Music: Marc Canham
Marla Grayson: Rosamund Pike
Roman Lunyov: Peter Dinklage
Fran: Eiza González
Jennifer Peterson: Dianne Wiest
Dean Ericson: Chris Messina
Judge Lomax: Isiah Whitlock Jr
Mr Feldstrom: Macon Blair
Dr. Amos: Alicia Witt
Sam Rice: Damian Young
Alexi Ignatyev: Nicholas Logan
Adelaide: Liz Eng
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.