I Care a Lot

I Care a Lot ★★

The disparity in the way the two White's were treated on Breaking Bad has always seemed like a fascinating fulcrum point in discussions of gender and empathy on screen, a realm in which this film gleefully plays. Pike's protagonist is as competent and evil as Walt, but she is also a woman, specifically an Elizabeth Holmes GirlBoss lesbian style woman, and so, we hate her.

The film takes some joy in depicting the elegant efficiency of her scheme, but it takes more in setting her up against slimy men, misogynists and human traffickers and watching as we find ourselves rooting for them. This is in large part because of just how frightening and infuriating her particular con is; we would likely despise anyone who executed it, but it would maybe be a more benign hatred.

Sadly the film is at its best in these early provocative phases. Once the plot starts to unfurl and the stakes unravel beyond any realm of realism it becomes clear that this movie isn't much more interested in its themes than, close tonal sibling, A Simple Favour was the psychology of incest. The passable black comedy/airport thriller that this becomes is beneath the potent moral-prurience of where it begins, but Pike, in outfits that rival Lively's, almost convinces you otherwise.