Careless? #filmreview #Icarealot

At my 60th birthday my son said a few words. It was touching and a little chilling. ‘Dad,’ he said, ‘when you’re old and grey I will be there for you… but as soon as you start dribbling into the sofa, you’re off to a home.’ A bit of a family joke, that. Wasn’t it?

I Care A Lot (Amazon Prime) is a film that makes you wonder about that. The basic premise – a steely, cold hearted professional guardian is in cahoots with local medics to have the elderly and alone (with assets) referred to her so she can fleece them through the courts – resonates with the jokey sentiment above.

But in this wonderful film there are no jokes and little love around the issue of getting old. Yes, it’s creepy, but it is also clever, funny, awful, thoughtful, thrilling, gasp out loud and laugh out loud splendid. The lead characters are played by a super charged Rosamund Pike, back to her Gone Girl best and Peter Dinklage on Game Of Thrones top form and displaying a manic comic timing up with the best.

Pike’s character ‘has no skin in the game’ so remains ‘objective’ in seeking the best for her clients to whom she is legal guardian. But these ‘cherries’ are merely assets to be stripped, entirely legally if not ethically.

And then she chooses Josephine Peterson, a little old lady with money to spare and no family and few friends. What can go wrong? Pretty much everything but is our ‘hero’ thwarted? Is she heck.

The appalling guardian and the equally if not more appalling family of Josephine are perfectly balanced creations. Where a writer-director provides their audience with a lead who is so lacking in warmth and empathy the skill is in having that audience root for them even while abhorring what they are doing. By counterpointing one level of awfulness with another, the director achieves that balance perfectly. You want neither to win, but also to not be the first to lose.

I have no idea if there is even a grain, a scintilla of truth in how the American courts deal with such emergency applications for guardianship for the infirm, the elderly and the incapable. I like to think there are appropriate checks and balances that would stop the most egregious of such exploitative cases happening in real life. But hey, we’re constantly told America is the place where anything is possible, so I easily suspended any disbelief I may have had in the name of enjoying a cracking good movie.

Just don’t let your kids see it….

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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12 Responses to Careless? #filmreview #Icarealot

  1. M. L. Kappa says:

    Sounds intriguing. Will try it

    Like

  2. V.M.Sang says:

    It sounds like one to remove from any recommendations to one’s kids!
    And I’m sure your son was joking!

    Like

  3. LucciaGray says:

    It sounds interesting. I’ll check it out!

    Like

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Well that sounds like fun…. I shall try it 💜

    Like

  5. Super review, Geoff. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  6. noelleg44 says:

    Gotta look for this – sounds amazing. And by the way, Geoff, you are a youngster!

    Like

  7. floridaborne says:

    Excellent review.

    Like

  8. JT Twissel says:

    In American courts it generally depends on the judge. I’m so old that this sounds like a very scary movie to me!

    Like

  9. Suzanne says:

    Thank gawd I don’t have kids 😉 No wonder the elderly get paranoid! On average a bedroom in a Carehome in NZ is approx $5,500 a month per person. Their assets are ceased by the Government until they depart, the elderly, not the Govt! Any monies gifted 5 years before they enter a “Home” is to be given back to pay for their care if they don’t have enough funds. This is the law currently in NZ. A nightmare paper trail! It is going to be fun when all of us babyboomers are elderly! Do I want to watch the movie? No thanks.

    Like

  10. Peter says:

    Re: “I have no idea if there is even a grain, a scintilla of truth”
    Unfortunately the premise at the outset seems based on a true story in a different state where the guardian leased billboards to local politicians, judges, D.A.’s running for election, and they bent rules to his favor. Ie. The first offense of misappropriated client funds would be a misdemeanor, the rest a felony. But the D.A. never prosecuted the first offense, so a catch22!
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/how-the-elderly-lose-their-rights
    https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/jared-e-shafer-guardian/las-vegas-nevada-89120/jared-e-shafer-guardian-alan-d-freer-patience-bristol-jared-shafers-rip-off-cruelty-kill-799847
    https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/courts/ex-nevada-guardian-to-serve-up-to-40-years-behind-bars-1565690/

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  11. A good review, but the Lawyer’s speech is more entertaining

    Like

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