Rosamund Pike won her first Golden Globe this year for her impressive work in I Care a Lot, a 2021 Netflix offering. That’s not surprising, for her resume includes two other Golden Globe nominations: A Private War (2019) and Gone Girl (2014) plus an Oscar nomination for Gone Girl. Her other excellent performances can be seen in films like Hostiles, Die Another Day, Barney’s Version, Doom, Surrogates, Radioactive, and many more.
Pike shows no fear when it comes to playing unsympathetic characters, and the person she portrays in this latest movie might be the most unsympathetic one of all. The soulless Marla Grayson lives in a “lamb or lion” world, and she takes extreme pleasure when taking advantage of elderly folks who have no family. And she counts on fellow conspirators to help her get away with her dastardly plans. Marla is one villain I wanted to shout “Boo” at in practically every scene – especially when she’s pretending to be so concerned about her victim.
However, everything works out for Marla until she becomes the legal guardian and caretaker of Jennifer Peterson (played with conviction by Diane Wiest), a senior citizen who lives alone and seems like easy prey. Unfortunately for Marla, Jennifer’s son (Peter Dinklage) happens to be a secretive and dangerous crime boss who wants his mother out of Marla’s clutches.
“I Care a Lot,” the movie’s name,
but one caregiver has no shame.
Client’s money she gladly steals.
With her property she makes deals.
Rosamund Pike plays sharp villain,
a role she seems so comfy in.
And Peter Dinklage with her vies
as a bad guy awash in lies.
Plot works well during half the show.
Then goes awry. Why? I don’t know.
But violence becomes too much
and film loses its comic touch.
Pike and Dinklage (The Game of Thrones/The Station Agent) make a deadly duo in this cynical movie directed by J Blakeson (The Fifth Wave) Their one-upmanship situations come across as humorous at times but soon turn into horrific interactions that don’t seem to fit. Still, it’s fun to watch these two terrific actors square off together as their characters try to outsmart each other.
I Care a Lot also reminds us to be careful about the guardians and caretakers we choose either for ourselves or for our loved ones.
If being a liar and a swindler helps you sleep at night, then be prepared to be wide awake tangled in your world of deceit. --- Mike Young
(Released by Netflix and rated “R” by MPAA.)