J. Blakeson (The 5th Wave) turns his attention to elder care in hardhearted fashion that’s more disagreeably nasty than delightfully amusing.
I care a Lot stars Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) whose character, Marla Grayson, is among a group of rather contemptible folks. It’s clear Blakeson enjoys delving into this with a brash slyness. Ultimately, turning on the way a vaping Grayson is perceived from where her piggishness may have originated.
Maria’s elegant entrepreneurial skills lets avarice flourish at the expense of prosperous seniors as their legal conservator. Outwardly, it may seem the wards are getting a desired treatment, but are being fleeced by Grayson. In the gambit are her associate (and lover) Fran (Eliza Gonzalez) as well as Dr. Amos (Alicia Witt) and home-care manager Rice Damian Young) with the help of a bumbling judge (Isiah Whitlock. Jr.).
From an early courtroom sequence involving Maria and a guy named Feldstrom (Macon Blair) the steeliness becomes grounded with a reality that diminishes opportunity for dark, amusing satire.
More of a typical thriller unfolds as a ew ‘patient’ diagnosed with early-stage dementia isn’t an assumed retired mark. Dianne West”s Jennifer Peterson has a ‘family’ person in the diminutive Roman Lunyon (Peter Dinklage) whose minions include Alexi Nicholas Logan) and shady attorney Dean (Chris Messina).
What Marla and Lunyon will go through to get what each feels they deserve begins to add to the nasty goings-on which could easily fit into a standard violent thriller. Again, without levity that might be found in a Coen Bros. film. The climax will see a startling justice to a key perpetrator.
Wiest even gets drawn into the dispiriting nature of it all as she’s underserved in a tale that sensitized by a growing industry in light of the current global crisis. Her deftness works well into the shadings of venality brought to the fore by the steely Pike and to a much lesser extent by a menacing, spastic Dinklage.
So, an overwhelming cynicism of A Lot doesn’t allow much to care about for a prevailing wanton ambition. Pike ennobles an opportune cousin for her Amy Dunne character from the aforementioned David Fincher opus starring Ben Affleck (that’s earned her a Golden Globe nomination). It’s just not hard to be unpleasantly soured throughout what is mostly a grim, if audacious deployment. Emphasized by a sleek technical contributions where redemption isn’t a viable option.