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I Care a Lot


Stars: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Eiza Gonzalez, Chris Messina, Macon Blair, Alicia Witt

Director: J Blakeson

Marla Grayson (Pike) is a woman you'll love to hate. Ruthless, ambitious and clever, she makes Cruella de Vil look like Mary Poppins.

And her racket certainly is cruel: She and her partner/lover Fran (Gonzalez) target elderly residents living alone, forge documents, bribe doctors, sweet-talk judges and railroad their unfortunate victims into care while Marla sells their homes, seizes their assets and sucks them dry, as well as getting herself appointed as their legal guardian.

'There is no such thing,' smiles Marla, displaying all her white teeth, 'as good people. People think that working hard and playing fair will lead to success and happiness. It doesn't. Playing fair is a joke invented by the rich to keep the rest of us poor. So there are only people who take and people who get took.'

Yes, Marla has more than a little in common with Gordon Gekko from Wall Street.

I know, I know, this is all only faintly believable, to be charitable. But it certainly is entertaining - especially when Marla's next victim proves to be Jennifer Peterson, (Wiest), a doughty 71-year-old who has all her marbles but soon finds herself shunted into Marla's 'special' care home where her mobile is seized and she is allowed no visitors.

She glares at Marla and snarls 'You just made the biggest mistake of your life.' And Marla soon gets an inkling of what she means when she opens Jennifer's locker in the bank vault and finds a fortune in diamonds.

Yes, Jennifer has unexpected connections - and things are about to get very ugly.

Pike's American accent isn't the best you've ever heard, but otherwise her performance is flawless, weaving webs round her victims' attempts to escape. The dialogue often sparkles; and, although some people have objected to the bloodbath of the last two reels, I found it quite in keeping with what has gone before.


...and you'll cheer at the ending.

Available on most digital platforms

David Quinlan

USA/UK 2020. UK Distributor: STX International. Technicolor.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 22 Feb 2021