I Care A Lot is a Lot in the Perfect Way

Standout performances make it a perfect watch      

Star Rosamund Pike won a golden globe for her standout performance.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Fans of dark comedy will be thoroughly impressed with J Blakeson’s most recent film, I Care A Lot, which merges the genre with that of an action thriller. The movie first premiered on the festival circuit in September of 2020, but recently came to streaming services, most notably through its distributor Netflix. The film stars Emmy-award winning actress Rosamund Pike, who most viewers will recognize as the actress who played Amy Dunne in the 2014 movie Gone Girl, a role for which Pike received an Academy Award nomination. Pike is joined by Peter Dinklage, Eiza Gonzalez, and Dianne Wiest to fill out the main cast. This movie plays to Pike’s strengths as an actress, forcing her into a moral gray zone. This movie’s stand-out cast and overall dark comedic senses make for an incredibly enjoyable watch.

Pike plays Marla Grayson, a court-appointed guardian and grifter who abuses the legal system to profit off of her elderly wards; a role which is reminiscent of Pike’s portrayal of Amy Dunne in Gone Girl in how conniving and manipulative both the characters are. Marla and her business partner/girlfriend Fran, played by Eiza Gonzalez, are presented with the opportunity to take on a new ward after one of Grayson’s clients suddenly dies. They are presented with the case of a Miss Jennifer Peterson, a supposedly wealthy, retired business woman (played by Dianne Wiest) with no family or connections which could otherwise complicate the grift. Marla gets a doctor to fabricate documents and embellish some memory loss that Peterson was having to convince a judge that Peterson has dementia and needs to be taken on as a ward of the state; however, Marla soon realizes that Miss Peterson is not who she appears to be. Soon, Marla becomes entangled in a web of crime that has been going on for presumably decades. 

Pike has already won a Golden Globe for her performance in the movie and it’s easy to see why. Pike, similarly to her role in Gone Girl and her role in her film debut, Die Another Day, toes a line between being endearing and despicable that is hard to attain. Pike brings a perplexing, almost predator-like presence to the film as the character describes herself as a lioness.  Pike may have been slightly type-cast for the role considering the similarity between some of her past roles. Pike has already gotten some Oscar buzz for her role in this film, as well as for starring in a Marie Curie biopic in 2019 called Radioactive.

While Pike’s performance is fantastic, the supporting cast also holds their own against Pike’s juggernaut of a role. Gonzalez’s more understated role of Fran comes off as tender in contrast to Marla. Furthermore, Dianne West and Peter Dinklage add layers of complexity to characters which could otherwise be fairly flat. Furthermore, the way Blakeson blends the elements of psych-thrillers with that of a dark comedy makes for an interesting pairing. 

While J Blakeson’s directing career is rather slim with this film being one of his only major directing pieces, the other being 2009’s The Disappearance of Alice Creed, I Care A Lot subverts the archetype of the “girlboss” in a way that feels fresh, without detracting from the archetype that it references. The twists and turns of the plot keeps the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the majority of the film. The movie has a slow burn to some phenomenal action scenes in the last quarter of the film’s runtime. Overall, I Care A Lot is a well-crafted fun movie for any weekend with its colorful cast of characters and hectic plot.

This is a selection from the March 17 issue. To view the full issue, visit: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/485491858/

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