Sam Meltzer🏳️🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
I Care a Lot is perhaps Rosamund Pike’s biggest film role since the outstanding Gone Girl. It tells the story of Marla Grayson, a woman who appears to be thoughtful and caring towards members of the elderly community while in reality she is secretly plotting her way into stealing their money and belongings. In many ways, this character is a psychopath that cheats her way through life in order to benefit herself. As the film goes on, we see how her actions intertwine with drama and crime.
This is the type of circumstance where if the lead performance doesn’t work, the movie probably won’t either. Fortunately, Rosamund Pike is sensational as Marla. It’s so surprising to me that she’s British in real life because her American accent is mesmerizingly good. The way she delivers her lines and uses emphasis on certain words or phrases is incredible. She completely eats up this role and dives deep into this chaotic character. I love her unique and fierce tone that drives the emotion of the movie beautifully. Peter Dinklage is perfectly cast here as well. He plays Roman, the opposing force to Marla and her actions, and gives a genuinely great performance. His character feels extremely wicked and mean, but because of his short height the role has a really nice comedic touch. Dianne Wiest was also really good, playing the old woman who had no control over the situation. The audience certainly feels for her character as she can play the sweet and innocent old lady that we all know.
Here’s where I think the film could be divisive: Rosamund Pike’s character. Marla Grayson is quite possibly what it really means to be evil. The interesting thing about this character is that the film doesn’t tell us her motive or reasoning for her actions, it just appears that’s she is a greedy, selfish and psychotic woman. For me, this mostly worked. I don’t think her character was supposed to be likable. While for the majority of the runtime I was acknowledging her absurdity and insanity, there were some slight, brief moments that I bought into the character. The way Rosamund performs is spectacular, providing a strange sense of charm and charisma to the role making her not completely hatable all the time. However, I can understand not liking the movie because of this. Having a likable main character is important, and Marla isn’t always fitting in that criteria. I think it’s a commentary on what an evil person really means, but this could certainly become annoying or concerning for some viewers. The aspect of villainous trickery in her character is shown when she is not only able to get her way through her job, but also manages to make everyone around her look bad. It’s an smart woman who uses her intelligence to only benefit herself, which evidently isn’t always going to work out.
J Blakeson’s script is witty and snappy, allowing Marla Grayson to act like an unforced and rather natural-feeling character. The conversations felt mostly believable and intriguing while also adding some jaw-dropping moments here and there. I also really liked the cinematography of the movie. Now, it isn’t exactly anything special or different but it looked very clean and worked so well for the tone. There were certain one-takes that slowly zoomed in on a character and those worked brilliantly providing a moment of suspense and dramatic effect on a situation.
Although my expectations may have been overly-high, I Care a Lot was a fresh and interesting comedic crime thriller that gave Rosamund Pike a chance to shine.