No Heroes in Netflix Offering "I Care A Lot"

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I Care A Lot

Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is running a very sweet scam that puts her in charge of the financial holdings of elderly people. But she doesn't work alone. She has help within the medical and assisted living community who work together to present convincing cases to the legal system in order to declare their victims incapable of caring for themselves. These hearings are done without the victim present, where they are then appointed a legal guardian: Marla. Marla then presents the elderly person with the signed document, escorts them from their home to the care facility, and proceeds to liquidate all their assets.

The scheme is presented with such plausibility that I Care a Lot could be classified as a horror movie for seniors.

Marla and her lover, Fran (Elza Gonzalez), have a sweet gig going with this scam. But when they get a call from their accomplice, Dr. Amos (Alicia Witt), about a new prospect, they are certain they have hit the jackpot. Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) exhibits mild memory loss, but the fact that she lives alone with no living relatives makes her a prime candidate to target. In short order, Marla conspires with senior center manager Sam Rice (Damian Young) and presents a case before Judge Lomax (Isiah Whitlock, Jr) to have Jennifer remanded to her guardianship.

They picked the wrong target. Because while Jennifer does not (and, indeed, can not) resist being taken into care, there's far more to her than meets the eye. Suddenly, Marla finds herself in opposition to Jennifer's undocumented son, Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage) and his crew, members of the Russian mafia, resulting in a battle where each side takes ruthless swipes at the other until an unlikely resolution is reached.

Dinklage chews up every scene he's in, and Pike's character is a dragon lady in every respect -- almost always introduced on camera exhaling from her vaping stick. The mob's motivation involves a fortune in diamonds (among other activities), while Marla is driven by undermining the patriarchy and striking a blow for feminism (and money--let's not forget the money). It's an odd movie where you have no particular side to root for, and so you end up rooting for whomever is striking a blow at any given time. It's definitely worth the watch, if for no other reason than as a cautionary tale.

4.0 / 5.0