Sunday 21 February 2021

I Care a Lot (Movie Review)

Rosamund Pikes steps back into familiar territory in the new dark comedy, I Care a Lot, a film for which she recently received a Best Actress nomination at the forthcoming Golden Globes. The movie was written and directed by J Blakeson, an English filmmaker best remembered for helming the YA sci-fi adaptation, The 5th Wave. Following a strong showing at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, his latest film makes its debut on both Netflix and Amazon Prime this weekend.

The film stars Rosamund Pike as Marla Grayson, a woman who runs an elaborate scam where she gets the court to appoint her as guardian to wealthy senior citizens deemed no longer capable of taking care of themselves. She then proceeds to put them up in a retirement home where they have no contact with the outside world, while she profits by liquidating their assets.

But unbeknownst to Marla, her latest target is the mother of a Russian mobster (played by Peter Dinklage), and the woman had been in possession of some diamonds worth millions of dollars. And now her son is willing to go to any lengths to get both of them back, as Marla finds herself entangled in a battle of wits.

I Care a Lot is an exhilarating story about ruthless ambition and its consequences. The film is populated with characters operating within the dark side of a clearly flawed legal system, and as such, it was almost impossible for me to root for any single one of them. But I still found myself wanting to see the story through to its ending, just to see whether or not some due justice was going to get served.

The real highlight of course was Rosamond Pike, who once again channels a cold, diabolical side that is sure to leave viewers shaking in their seats, be that from fear or righteous anger. I still get chills when thinking of her performance from Gone Girl, and her performance here was every bit as strong and memorable. That said, Peter Dinklage also manages to hold his own, plus it was nice seeing the Game of Thrones alum after that show had left fans with a sour taste in their mouth.

The film was also stylishly put together, from its smooth editing to its synth-heavy soundtrack. My main gripe with the movie then stems from its overall identity crisis. I'm a fan of dark comedies, but this particular one was devoid of any real jokes, at least ones that landed or that I would consider memorable. As such, it settles into this awkward middle ground between a true comedy and a psychological thriller.

I Care a Lot skirts by off the strength of its lead star. Rosamund Pike has already proven herself to be an accomplished actress at this point, so whether or not she snags the Golden Globe this year shouldn't change any of that. Her latest film is just further proof of why she is one of the most talented actresses working in Hollywood today.


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