Even with expectations of a twist that comes with the scam sub-genre, it never ceases to amaze, combining its evil story with a devilish twist from Rosamund Pike.
WRITTEN BY: J Blakeson
DIRECTED BY: J Blakeson
EXECUTION TIME: 118 min.
Should a movie have supportive characters?
It is a fair question. Certainly you would find it difficult to argue that they are not an asset, as they have the power to keep the audience engaged even when they are not busy with a story. It’s certainly also a way that we rate something as ‘bad’ because there is a lot of horrible cinema where the nasty leads are clearly frontal problems. But is it impossible to make a quality movie filled exclusively with hateful monsters?
The answer is no, and the proof is I Care A Lot by J. Blakeson. This is a movie exclusively about individuals with rotten black souls destined for 100 miles below the lowest circle of hell, with barely an ounce of redeeming quality in sight, and the level of malice is not fascinating. The motive behind this epically cynical trait is that the most powerful weapon against a great evil is a greater evil, and the spinning cat and mouse game is delightfully petty and sharp.
Even with expectations of a twist associated with the scam subgenre, it never fails to amaze, combining its wicked tale with a devilish twist from Rosamund Pike (the best it’s been since David Fincher’s Gone Girl) and a lighthearted aesthetic that brilliantly (in every sense of the word) enhances everything.
The culprit behind I Care A Lot is Marla Grayson, a sociopathic and immoral capitalist who has successfully rigged the system to carry out a heinous scam. She Keeps to be a legal guardian, but what she really does is find helpless seniors and convince a judge that they cannot be trusted to take care of themselves. She then puts them on hold in a nursing home with an owner while she makes them bleed by selling all their belongings and belongings. She operates publicly completely within the law and has an entire company committed to this, along with her partner Fran.
When one of Marla and Fran’s marks dies unexpectedly, the duo look for someone to fill the vacant nursing home suite, and with the help of a corrupt doctor’s friend (Alicia Witt), they find what they think is the one. perfect target. Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) is a retired executive living alone with no family, and after running the standard background checks, Marla turns to what she considers a gold mine. An emergency hearing is held, without Jennifer present, and in just a few minutes, the perfectly capable retiree is declared legal under the “care” of the main character.
The most recent victim of the scam is locked up, the key is apparently thrown away, and the liquidation of everything she owns begins. But Marla soon begins to suspect that something … is wrong. A raid on Jennifer’s vault reveals an unregistered bag of pristine diamonds, and one day during the renovation of Jennifer’s house, a man in a taxi comes to pick up Jennifer. Marla and Fran realize that their last sign is not exactly who they thought it was, and that their greed has put them in the crosshairs of a man who would endanger not only their livelihood but also their lives.
Moviegoers are clearly no strangers to movies with less than moral clues, but the typical move is to give them a push and / or balance consciousness with more standard powers for good (e.g. in gangster movies when the murderous protagonist wants to crime scene as detective ace gets closer and closer). What makes I Care A Lot so cheeky is that it doesn’t care about those kinds of viewers. Marla doesn’t have a single tragic story that explains her hauntingly insensitive behavior, other than growing up penniless and with no interest in returning to that lifestyle. She does what she does out of greed and because the law allows it.
With no authority to stand in her way, the public expects the ‘universe’ to seek ‘justice’, and that comes … albeit in the darkest shadow of darkness. Revealing too much here would be a cinematic sin, but let’s just say Jennifer Peterson’s collaborators aren’t exactly The Avengers. A fascinating dichotomy is established because you don’t wait so long for one side to proclaim itself victorious, but pray desperately that they will somehow eat each other. It’s an unpleasant feeling to conjure up a movie, but damn if it’s not exceptionally effective, making for cruel entertainment.
Everyone in the cast, but especially Rosamund Pike and Chris Messina, is having fun.
Looking at I Care a Lot, one can’t help but think about the old cliché that actors have more fun playing the bad guy because everyone here is bad and everyone is clearly having a good time. Peter Dinklage has a pent-up rage like a permanent undercurrent to his performance, which is captivating and terrifying, and it is surprising to see Dianne Wiest revealing herself as much more than just an innocent innocent – one of the best sinister laughs of recent times when Marla is faces. her after discovering certain details about her true identity. Chris Messina also deserves special recognition as Dean Ericson, an attorney who will represent Jennifer Peterson. He’s not a role with much screen time, but his arrogance and his casually threatening demeanor from him is so powerful during his first encounter with Marla that you can’t help but emit audible ‘holy shit’ when cut. the scene.
There is no question that this is the movie of Rosamund Pike, who plays Marla to earn the nickname Ultimate Bitch and she does. The brutality she regularly displays is shocking and hideous, but also grounded enough to give you a content stomach ache to witness, delivered savagely with a wry smile, reluctant deception, and clouds of steam. Furthermore, it is even more disturbing how the determination that the actor injects into the character makes you respect Marla on some level, although that positive feeling constantly fades when you witness the determination that drives her to reach even higher echelons of despicable scope. . .
I Care A Lot works in daylight and is beautiful and smart. It clearly darkens in I Care A Lot, but part of what makes the film feel particularly cold and harsh is how bright it is. Marla’s ill-fated operation does not operate under cover of night, but in courthouses and nursing homes with fluorescent lighting, and J Blakeson’s style brings this fact to the public’s face with sharp lighting, vibrant colors and large windows. As the threat from Jennifer Peterson’s associates increases, the aesthetic pays off and there are sequences (again, no spoilers) that make impressive use of the consuming darkness. However, the color is always very bold, unpleasant and impressive.
Mileage always varies when it comes to the audience and the stories of bad people doing bad things to other bad people, and I Care a Lot is an even more extreme version of that approach than what we usually see. It takes a stomach for extreme cynicism and the ability to appreciate a sadistic relationship with a protagonist, but those with the right sensibilities will fall in love with this movie and think about it long after watching it.