Tuesday, April 13, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 6
Signup

Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
BINGEABLE: BARRY
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
GODZILLA VS. KONG
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
IRRESISTIBLE
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LYING AND STEALING
NOBODY
PALMER
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
SOUL
SUPERINTELLIGENCE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE WHITE TIGER
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
TREAD
TV REVIEW: ALLEN V. FARROW (2021)
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EUPHORIA
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FIREFLY LANE
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SEARCH PARTY
TV REVIEW: SERVANT
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LADY AND THE DALE (2021)
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS (EPISODE 6) (2021)
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WANDAVISION
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (2014)

‘I Care A Lot’ examines the infuriating practice of conservatorship of the elderly

I CARE A LOT

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF BLACK BEAR PICTURES

I CARE A LOT


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Writer-director J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) helms this infuriating black comedy about professional conservator Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike), who uses the legal system to gain guardianship of the elderly to swindle them out of their money under the guise of caring for them. When she sets her sights on Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), Marla attracts the attention of Mafia boss Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage), Jennifer’s son, setting in motion a cat-and-mouse game as Roman tries to leverage for his mother’s release while Marla attempts to extort him for $10 million. (118 min.)

Glen: I can’t immediately recall when I’ve hated a character more than I hated Marla Grayson. She’s an absolute reprobate, a con artist who games the system and swindles the elderly without so much as a twinge of remorse. Pike is fantastic in the role. Even her hair is acting—a straight brutalist bob that screams, “I’m perfect and you’re not.” Marla has the system wired. She uses Dr. Karen Amos (Alicia Witt) to scout candidates for exploitation, preferably old and rich with no family to interfere. When Marla finds the right mark, she goes to court with tales of diminished capacity, gains guardianship, sticks the mark in an eldercare facility, pumps him or her full of drugs, and then extracts all the wealth from his or her estate. Trust me, you’ll want to murder her. It seems like everyone is in on the scam, palms out waiting to be greased. The problem is her most recent mark, Jennifer Peterson, has a relative, one just as ruthless as Marla herself. Dinklage is great as Roman, who sees in Marla a worthy opponent who perhaps can become an opportunity. The corruption runs deep, and its ugly to its core, yet to Marla and Roman, it’s a thing of beauty. Ug. 

Anna: Marla is so hateable, so unapologetically disgusting, so reprehensible—Pike gives us a character we love to hate. I always check out the Rotten Tomatoes scores after watching a movie to see how it fared with both audiences and critics. Well, let’s just say that audiences did not enjoy watching evil on screen—it comes in at a paltry 36 percent, while the critics’ score is a much more respectable 80 percent. I’m with the critics on this one. While watching these characters make ugly, selfish, ruthless moves isn’t a pleasant affair, both Dinklage and Pike deliver deliciously dastardly characters that are so fun to root against. Wiest is wonderful as always here. Marla messed with the wrong woman, and Wiest’s Jennifer has fun messing with her even from her drug-induced stupor. The tragic part of this film is that it’s just a magnifying glass on things that most assuredly happen in the system every day. Marla and her cohorts didn’t know Jennifer had a son, and if she hadn’t, she would have wound up just another photo on the wall of Marla’s victims. It’s a sad reality, pumped-up Hollywood style and turned into a dark comedy.

Glen: It is pretty hard to watch. Wiest’s Jennifer is certainly the most likeable character, mainly because she’s feisty, but let’s face it: Even she’s pretty flawed. She’s fine with her criminal son and the spoils that go along with it, such as millions in cash and diamonds in a safety deposit box that Marla gains control of. I think, too, the ending may be a bit much for most audiences. It comes out of nowhere! Well, not nowhere, but it doesn’t have much to do with the main storyline of Marla, Jennifer, and Roman. I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is both satisfying and somewhat hollow. I wanted more comeuppance for Marla. It’s pretty horrible that the elderly are so easily warehoused and forgotten, and that the system doesn’t do enough to protect them. The film also hits home during these pandemic days, when COVID-19 sweeps through nursing homes and kills off residents, who, even if they’re lucky enough to have caring relatives, are excluded from seeing them out of fear of disease transmission. This is a dark comedy for our dark days, and personally I’m looking forward to coming out of this tunnel, and watching a film in a theater—maybe even an insipid summer blockbuster. Sounds grand.

Anna: Ah, yes. Just think, soon enough we’ll be able to watch a new movie on a screen bigger than our home televisions! A dream come true to be sure! I definitely was also hoping for a big ol’ revenge on Marla and her nastiness, and while I got a piece of what I wanted it, still didn’t quite satisfy. The fun here lies in letting yourself embrace the true awfulness of the characters and jumping on for the ride. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to punch the screen more than a few times for sure. I’ve had a few people ask if we’ve watched this one yet, and when I say yes, what follows is a tumble of words akin to, “Oh my god, do you believe what happened? Isn’t she like the worst??? Wasn’t Dinklage amazing?? Don’t you want to just burn them all to the ground?!?” It may not be good feelings that the film is giving its audience, but it is definitely making them feel something! Don’t watch the trailer before this one; just let it all come with the shock and awe of a first viewing.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
What do you think about the county opening up the vaccine to 16-plus at some clinics?

It's about time!
I'm worried it will make it harder to get an appointment.
I would have preferred more sectors to get access before opening to everyone.
The state plans to do the same thing in about a week, so it doesn't make a big difference.

| Poll Results






My 805 Tix - Tickets to upcoming events