I CARE A LOT (2021)

(Netflix) I CARE A LOT is an overstuffed marvel; part huckster film, part heist film, part crime thriller, part courtroom drama, but all confidently shouldered by Rosamund Pike. Pike is Marla Grayson, a woman who preys on the elderly via an elaborate scheme in which she pays off a doctor to state in court that the elderly person is unable to take care of themselves and require a legal ward, then they suggest Marla. Marla then scuttles them off to a nursing home, sells off all of their belongings, milks their bank account until the person dies, then look for the next mark.

She’s a monster, and Pike revels in it. Just that premise alone could have carried the film but, it turns out that Pike and professional and personal partner Fran (Eiza González) end up abducting the mother of a crime boss, played with relish by Dianne Wiest (HANNAH AND HER SISTERS) and Peter Dinklage. Matters escalate, then culminate to what feels like a very unsatisfying Hays code-ish ending, but you can’t argue that you don’t see it coming.

While I could talk about the performances all day, director J Blakeson (THE 5TH WAVE) and cinematographer Doug Emmett (SORRY TO BOTHER YOU) also spend a refreshing amount of time with color theming, riffing off of Pike’s blond hair and ice blue eyes, to the point where there’s a shot where the color swatches are practically painted on someone’s tremendous heels. It’s a welcome change in this age of dull-sheen films.