Netflix’s latest release is a return to form for both director J Blakeson and the Academy Award-nominated actress Rosamund Pike.
By Matthew Royer, Staff Writer
Originally debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, “I Care a Lot,” the latest theatrical entry from director J Blakeson should engage both audiences and critics alike with its thrilling premise of greed and power and the superb execution on these core values.
The film follows Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), a professional guardian to the elderly who cons her way through life with the help of her assistant and girlfriend Fran (Eiza González). Together, they sell off the assets of those in her care for profit. Grayson uses her connections in the world of elderly care to target potential victims of her scheme. However, Grayson’s operation hits a snag when her latest target — an elderly woman named Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) — is discovered to have a shadowy past, including those who are not afraid to kill if it means freeing Ms. Peterson.
What ensues is a thrilling ride in which the plot is advanced through every twist and turn Grayson and Peterson have crafted for one another. With comedic notes and riveting action scenes throughout, Blakeson’s film is sure to have something for every viewer.
Pike and Wiest play off one another perfectly as antagonists in their own separate ways. Pike returns to form as previously seen in “Gone Girl,” playing the powerful yet composed lead who will have their way no matter what. Wiest perfects the role of Ms. Peterson, coming across as weak, yet ready to strike when needed — going from helpless to formidable with the flip of a switch.
Pike received critical acclaim for her role, including a win for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical at the 78th Golden Globes this past Sunday, Feb. 28.
Blakeson’s film also touches on issues such as the capitalist nature of the United States and the concept of money making the world go ‘round. It asks the viewer how far they would go to be happy and whether more money always equals happiness. The question is asked whether it is possible to have it all, but at what cost.
With a great supporting cast including Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Peter Dinklage, this movie is not just a show stealer with its leading performances, but all throughout. The film ends on a mind-blowing note that will keep viewers questioning what just happened even after the credits have rolled.
While not reinventing the genre of the thriller or black comedy, “I Care a Lot” does most things right and is a fantastic addition to the ever-growing catalog of original films from Netflix.