I Care a Lot

I Care a Lot ★★½

Julianne Moore is the most obvious suspect to blame for the lack of notable momentum in Rosamund Pike's post-Gone Girl career. Moore's "Overdue Oscar" narrative nabbed her the Best Actress statue (not only at the Oscars, but at the major precursor ceremonies as well) for Still Alice, torpedoing what could've (and arguably should've) been an industry-wide coronation of a superb talent finally hitting the big leagues. Since then, Pike's roles have more or less receded into the same mid-tier material that defined her resumé before David Fincher and Gillian Flynn came knocking.

It only seems appropriate, then, that Rosamund Pike's latest swell of awards buzz would come from a similarly icy role to that of Amy Elliott Dunne. Enter J Blakeson's I Care A Lot: the latest film to ask for 2 hours of your time only end with you thinking, "I wonder how much better that would've been if Scorsese had been at the helm." From the stylish slo-mo to the bookending narration to the morally... let's say, questionable characters; so much of Blakeson's efforts reek of Todd Phillips-level "admiration" for the Wolf of Wall Street auteur.

The Wolf of Wall Street is likely the easiest comparison to make with I Care A Lot, given its chronicling of a despicable businessperson's reprehensible practices that screw over the oblivious public. (Especially oblivious here is a recurring judge character whose every reaction seems to act as a magnetic force attracting your palm to your forehead.) The problem is that, as every review has so graciously pointed out, a solid 0% of the characters in this film are likeable in any way.

Pike's prickly performance is marginally comparable to her would-be star-making turn from 7 years ago. In fact, it almost feels like a retread in some instances, but the character calls for convincing punchability, and Pike brought it to the table in spades. Peter Dinklage appears as her immovable object, and he makes great use of his ability to sell a succinct "I don't fucking believe this" sentiment by simply glaring into the middle-distance. Dianne Wiest is enjoyable in her limited screen time as a competent old person (refreshing!), but these performances are all for naught because, again, who am I supposed to give a shit about here?

What it all boils down to is Blakeson's desire to create a new Wolf of Wall Street (or I guess a Wolf of... Acorn Street?), except not only is he demonstrably not Scorsese, but he's definitely not Terence Winter, either. This script isn't nearly biting, quotable or entertaining enough to sustain a premise built around businesspeople with all the suave magnetism and begrudging respectability of Martin Shkreli. And just because you replace a rock soundtrack with an unending loop of washed-out Reznor and Ross demos, that doesn't mean I won't notice your blatant Scorsese-isms. At this point, the knock-offs are growing into their own sub-genre.

2021 Ranked.

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