Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) wants everyone – sworn on God before the court – to know her heart is gold. Polished, honeyed phrases say all the right things: she is worried about her elderly charges, she is just looking out for them, and – with poise and pointedness – she must protect them from their own children’s inexperience. Under this front, she and her business partner/girlfriend Fran (Eiza González) fleece the charges and families for everything. When a new target ends up connected to the Russian mob, Maria and Fran are in for more than they bargained for – but the promised target cannot get away.

J. Blakeson’s film is at its best when it leans into a bitter indictment of corporatised family care, but slightly loses its way when it becomes an outright crime film rather than merely awful people doing awful things to each other – a perfect match for the script’s pitch-black comedy. Thankfully, underwhelming plot development is carried by steely, self-aware performances and its one-degree-from-reality production design.

Moving between smoothie bars and spin classes in a fierce collection of stilettos, accompanied by a kinetic electronic soundtrack, Pike embodies a girlboss’ final form. There is enough camp to mesmerise but enough ruthless realism to terrify. Her menacing portrayal finds a livelier, more sympathetic companion in González, but Dianne Wiest’s “Jennifer Peterson” almost steals the film as her kindly, scattered act hides a ruthless interior life. The characters do not grow but do not need to – the fun is the slow, total destruction.

“If your whole enterprise isn’t the perfect example of the American Dream, I don’t know what is,” Marla is told midway through the film. I Care a Lot knows how fun the darkest, most amoral opportunism can be on screen, revelling in nastiness and soaring in its character-driven moments.



CAST: Rosamund Pike, Eiza González, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest

DIRECTOR: J. Blakeson

WRITER: J. Blakeson

SYNOPSIS: A legal guardian bites off more than she can chew when she takes an elderly woman into care before knowing her ties to organised crime.