I Care a Lot
- Emma Simmonds
- 15 February 2021
Rosamund Pike absolutely smashes it in this enjoyable black comedy from J Blakeson
If you thought it would be tough for Rosamund Pike to top her work in Gone Girl, she comes very close in a role that plays thrillingly to the actress's strengths. Her director, J Blakeson, a fellow Brit, grabbed our attention back in 2009 with The Disappearance of Alice Creed. His big budget YA follow-up The 5th Wave might have disappointed, but he's come back with a bang here. With the US healthcare and legal systems as its target, black comedy I Care a Lot is a pin-sharp portrayal of a merciless operator.
Pike plays Marla Grayson, a legal guardian perpetually on the look-out for rich seniors whose savings she can suck dry after taking them on as wards. Cutting a horribly convincing figure with her sharp suits and even sharper bob, Marla is in league with her lover Fran (Eiza González), a dodgy care home manager (Damian Young) and doctor (Alicia Witt), and has a judge (Isiah Whitlock Jr) wrapped round her finger, so stealing from even the relatively healthy isn't beyond her powers. When Marla gets wind of a potentially ideal target in Dianne Wiest's Jennifer, she quickly obtains a judicial order to have this perfectly compos mentis woman locked away and sedated, supposedly for her own safety. What she hadn't banked on is Jennifer's connection with the Cleveland Russian Mafia (in the shape of Peter Dinklage's Roman).
Blakeson gives us a devilish spin on the American Dream that's largely very satisfying, while Pike is frighteningly good at being bad (she's been nominated for a Golden Globe for her efforts) and her character is oddly admirable in her total fearlessness and the way she refuses to be thrown off her stride by male intimidation tactics. The final act stretches credulity, suddenly giving Marla a whole new skillset and, although the dialogue is often very witty, some of the satire can feel a bit on the nose. I Care a Lot would be worth it for Pike alone, but the bad taste fun and snappy direction ensure a very enjoyable two hours.
Available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from Fri 19 Feb.