When Rosamund Pike’s sterling, massively crooked businesswoman Marla Grayson hits the screen, it’s impossible not to meet her character with both hatred and begrudging admiration.
The woman is a legal guardian for pay, and spends her time draining every penny from her elderly, sick clients in order to make a living. But her evil ways become threatened when she meets her match in recently-acquired senior care facility resident Jennifer Peterson.
You see, Peterson is of sound mind and body, and she’s got friends in bad, terrifying places. So though the court and her doctor have allowed Grayson to take over the woman’s finances, her absence sets off a violent showdown that will hurt everyone involved.
Pike is incredible — channeling her vicious Gone Girl character — as she spars with Peter Dinklage, in a divine post-Game Of Thrones role as a Russian mob boss intent on getting his mother away from government control.
This bitingly funny, at times cruel film does suffer from a crisis of genres, with its dark premise sometimes threatening to go too far. It suffers most in the final third, but watching Pike, Dinklage and Dianne Weist give laudable turns makes this essential viewing.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but I Care A Lot, despite its poor title, will be a razor-sharp delight for those who come upon it and understand it.