Movie #71 2021: I Care A Lot (2020)

The quality of films that are coming to the forefront this year despite COVID is outstanding it must be said. I Care A Lot is yet another Golden Globe nominated movie – albeit the only nomination being for its star, Rosamund Pike – that has tons of originality and quality filmmaking at its core.

The basic storyline entails a court-appointed legal guardian named Marla Grayson (Pike) who has a complete ulterior, fiendish motive behind why she does this job. In short, Grayson is morally corrupt and uses her clients to defraud them, selling their belongings and their homes for her own personal gain. One day however, she messes with the wrong old lady, who has some very powerful friends in some very powerful places, and her whole scheme comes crashing down around her.

There’s been so much negative criticism around I Care A Lot because of the dislike of the character of Marla, and to that I say: shut up, man.

Stop crying just because the main character is a grade A ass hat. That’s the fucking point?!?!?! Having a woman lead this movie goes against all of those old-fashioned gender stereotypes about ‘motherhood’ and women being ‘nurturers’ – the entire point of that choice is to make you feel disgusting and ill-at-ease. On the other hand, I’m not wild about such an evil, unconscionable character also being a lesbian, but it’s at least nice to see an LGBTQ+ character who’s complex and able to lead a film instead of just being “the gay best friend” or a background character with barely any lines. 

What’s so terrifying about this is that it’s perfectly possible that it could happen (and probably has happened) in real life. It’s actually a really great piece of storytelling with several twists and turns that are expertly paced. I’m truly interested to see what J Blakeson comes up with next because there was something about this effort that felt entirely different to anything else I’ve ever seen.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the film – other than the batshit storyline – are how unique the visuals are. For instance, can we just have a moments’ silence for how gorgeous these costumes are?! 😍 It’s evident that every single outfit was curated and styled to fit each character. Petition for me to inherit Rosamund Pike’s wardrobe, please and thanks. There’s not anything that will be nominated for any sort of costuming award but let me tell you, 99% of these outfits would not look out of place on a runway.

Of course Pike is the choice to play a sociopathic crazy bitch (especially after her highly regarded performance in David Fincher’s Gone Girl), but there’s literally not enough praise being dealt out for Diane Wiest. She plays her supporting role with such a great knowing eye, and weirdly she seemed to be the character I wanted to know most about. Her character of Jennifer is nothing much more than a plot device and she gets relatively little screen time. However, she makes more out of the time she has than most and I’d watch an entire film about Jennifer if I’m honest.

The whole thing is a bit long (two hours is unnecessary in this case) and there were definitely parts that could have certainly been cast off to the cutting room floor, but I actually found this really original and fun to watch. Nothing special in terms of filmmaking or style, but a good piece of storytelling nevertheless.

I was also ready to be seething about the ending… and then I wasn’t. But that’s allllll I’m saying.

I Care A Lot is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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