Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
I Care a Lot. – Netflix Originals
Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) was a well-respected professional guardian that was regularly appointed by the courts to look after seniors who were thought to not be able to look after themselves. Unfortunately, Marla was actually a scam artist who preyed on the elderly, using doctors to get seniors committed to facilities and to then liquidate their assets to pay for her services and for the care facilities she was working with to imprison vulnerable seniors.
The doctor Marla was working with provided her with a “cherry” client named Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). With a court order in hand, Marla showed up at Jennifer Peterson’s home saying she had no choice but to go to the facility and take it up later with the judge. The facility gave Jennifer a warm welcome, but took her phone to prevent her from contacting anyone.
Jennifer Peterson was actually the mother of Russian mobster Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage) living under an assumed name to keep her safe from her son’s enemies. Roman sent an attorney to get his mother released, but that didn’t work. Next he sent some men undercover on a tour to break out his mother, which also failed. Feeling desperate, Jennifer attacked Marla, giving Marla the ability to move her to a mental facility even further away from her son’s reach.
Roman captured Marla instructing his men to kill her and make it look like and accident. They drugged her, put her back in her car as if she was drinking and driving, and drove the car into the quarry. Instead of drowning, Marla miraculously escaped and went back to the house to find her girlfriend Fran severely beaten, both barely escaped the house before it blew up.
They couldn’t go on the run without resources, however Marla had the bag of diamonds she stole from Jennifer’s safe deposit box and had a plan. Fran helped Marla track Roman to his office, where she tased his security guard and drugged Roman. They took Roman to a park, drugged him to stay asleep and left him naked on a trail to be found by strangers. Due to state that Roman was found, he was taken to the hospital and seeming unstable and without any ID was considered a John Doe, which left legally him in the care of a court appointed guardian, Marla.
Marla told Roman the only way he would get his life, his mother and diamonds back was to pay her the 10 million she wanted. In a strange twist, Roman said that even though he hated her, that he wanted Marla to go into business with him financing a countrywide guardianship corporation with his wealth and business structure and both would make billions.
Marla took the deal and they immediately began exploiting seniors across the country with the model Marla used to victimize Roman’s mother. Marla got national attention and she and Fran began living the indulgent life of wealth that Marla had always wanted, but it seemed karma would provide a last twist of fate.
“I Care a Lot” constantly leaves viewers feeling powerless with the expressed collaborative exploitation of elder care, and Rosamund Pike is superb in her role as Marla Grayson, garnering her the “Best Actress” award at this year’s Golden Globes.
Runtime: 1h 58m