Comedy Crime

Guardian Devils: A TIFF Review of ‘I Care a Lot’

September 13, 2020Ben MK

When someone is appointed the legal guardian of another person, there's a certain degree of trust involved. And if that person being looked after was one of your loved ones, you would hope that their legal guardian cares for them the same as they would for one of their own family members. What if that wasn't the case, however — what if the legal guardian was simply in it for their own monetary gain?

That's the hypothetical scenario underlying J Blakeson's dark comedy I Care a Lot, which sees Rosamund Pike and Eiza Gonzáles as a couple of ruthless con women named Marla and Fran. Partners in crime as well as partners in love, Marla and Fran have built a thriving business model around a loophole, allowing them to target well-to-do, unsuspecting senior citizens and become their court-appointed legal guardians so that they can systematically drain them of all their hard-earned savings. But when their next victim — the seemingly mild-mannered Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) — has them running afoul of an equally ruthless Russian mobster named Roman (Peter Dinklage), it would appear that Marla and Fran have finally let their greed get the better of them.

Suffice to say, I Care a Lot isn't your typical protagonist-versus-antagonist setup. In other words, you won't find any good guys to root for here. What you will find is a stylish and wickedly funny twist on a cat-and-mouse thriller — pitting two alpha dogs against each other and slyly inviting the audience to place their bets on the winner.

I Care a Lot screens under the Gala Presentations programme at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 58 min.

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