I Care A Lot is reminiscent of a Shakespearean drama. There are no protagonists, and a lesser of two evils philosophy guides the audience into rooting for a con artist—who fraudulently becomes guardians for seniors to drain their assets and leave them in assisted living—because she stumbles into conning a Russian mob family matriarch amidst all of her other innocent victims.
Rosamund Pike’s Marla Grayson is deliberately unlikeable and at the same time irresistible. The crown jewel to that persona is of course that her life revolves around making old people suffer. She exudes an icy persona that matches her career, with a precisely calculated hair cut, fashion sense, and a vape pen to assist the image.
It is worth noting Dianne Wiest’s performance as the Russian matriarch. Her short, but incredible performance conjures terror in a way that none of the other characters, including Peter Dinklage’s Russian mob boss, comes close to. As an efficiency of screen time to impact ratio, her character is unmatched in this film and countless others.
I Care A Lot is an entertaining story of villains getting their just desserts and no good deed going unpunished, with its main appeal being great performances by its cast. Its story arc often defies believability even by Hollywood script standards, and its two hours of runtime is perhaps slightly overstayed. But it’s all to fun effect as a whole and well put together.