Bill Gordon, Contributor
As we search for normalcy to get us through winter and the remainder of this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming services have become a major part of many people’s lives.
Many studios are moving forward with “theatrical” releases at home as everyone adapts.
In an effort to contribute to that normalcy, Valley Sentinel will endeavor to include reviews of trending, classic or otherwise interesting pieces of art or media to inspire. Feel free to send along your contributions.
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When does the Russian mafia look like the good guys? When it faces off against the unscrupulous Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) in “I Care a Lot” (directed by J. Blakeson, 2020). Grayson is a court-appointed legal guardian and self-described “predator” that targets wealthy older people, putting them (unnecessarily) in elder care facilities, liquidating all their assets, and taking a cut for herself. Peter Dinklage co-stars as Roman Lunyou, a Russian-American mob boss with a connection to Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), one of Grayson’s more recent victims.
Rosamund Pike is convincing in her portrayal of the calculating, ruthless Grayson and one can’t help but hate this woman. She is fearless, and her brand of capitalism doesn’t have any rules (and pity the fool who gets in her way).
Dianne Wiest is excellent as Peterson and when she is drugged and trapped in the senior care complex, you root for her when she tells Grayson with a steely glint in her eyes, “he’s coming… just you wait,” referring to Lunyou.
Peter Dinklage is outstanding as the mysterious, calm, but at times combustible Roman Lunyou. He is feared by his band of Russian gangsters, and when he first meets Grayson (after subjecting her to some obligatory torture) he tells her she reminds him of a woman he mutilated and had buried under a Jimmy Johns sub shop.
While “I Care a Lot” plays a little fast and loose with its portrayal of the guardianship legal process, if you haven’t put your estate plan in order, this movie might prompt you to do so.
The plot has a few cracks, but that doesn’t stop the fun. Packed with surprises and turnabouts, the war between Grayson and Lunyou keeps us engaged. If you like a fast-paced thriller with unexpected twists, you’ll like this movie.
“I Care a Lot” is available for viewing on Netflix now.
How to view: Netflix
Release date: 2021
Duration: 118 Minutes
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Comedy