Rosamund Pike takes her “Cool Girl” to an icy new level in J Blakeson’s I Care A Lot, a vicious thriller about an unscrupulous legal guardian who inadvertently messes with a crime lord (Peter Dinklage).
Gone Girl Oscar nominee Pike shines as Marla, an amoral conservator who preys on the elderly, picking “cherry” clients – those with large incomes and no family – to line her bank account with the help of a doctor and nursing home manager on the take. Her lucrative scheme lets her flex her sociopathic muscles until she places Jennifer (Dianne Wiest) in a home, unaware she has some pretty powerful friends.
There’s no one here to root for and that’s part of the wicked fun of Blakeson’s movie which soon dips into a pulpy revenge tale. This is a story about ruthless female ambition and cold-blooded women, the likes of which audiences don’t get to see very often; that in itself is worth the price of admission.
The one misstep the film makes is it tries to make its characters relatable in the messy final act instead of sticking to what has otherwise been a harsh social commentary. We don’t need to know what went wrong in Marla’s life to understand the person she is. In a world where it’s predator vs. prey, these women are lionesses out for the kill.
The film is available on TIFF’s Bell Digital Cinema on Sept. 13 at 6pm.