Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) craves the kind of power-wielding money rich people have. In order to get her hands on that money, she becomes a professional caretaker. But not just any caretaker. A grifter. Working alongside her girlfriend Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) and a network of shady doctors and nursing home executives, she finds targets for her scam: wealthy older people, many without next of kin, whom she can lure into her trap. She becomes their legal guardian, strips them of all of their assets and waits for them to wither away in a nursing home. Marla’s next target, Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), seems like an ideal candidate for her scam. But Marla gets much more than she bargained for as she faces Roman (Peter Dinklage), Jennifer’s son and the head of a dangerous underground network of criminals.
Directed by J Blakeson, I Care a Lot is a satisfyingly twisted tale. The villains are decidedly nasty and when they enter an all out battle of wits and violence, you don’t know who to root for. Rosamund Pike plays Marla with an icy cool and strength that makes her character endlessly fascinating. She’s not a one-note character. Audiences with be conflicted by their feelings towards Marla. They’ll hate her but they’ll hate her opposition more.
Every twist and turn of the story kept me guessing. Even when I thought I had found something I thought would be predictable, the plot goes in a different direction. I recommend going into this film knowing as little as possible (hence the spoiler free summary above).
I do wish we knew a bit more about the characters and how they became criminals. Pike says one line about money and power that seemed absolutely key to her character’s motivation but we only get that one nugget. The movie focuses more on plot than character development. I also didn’t care for the depiction of vaping which is problematic at best.
I Care A Lot is streaming on Netflix.