I CARE A LOT. (2021) | An Estate Litigator’s Review
I’m Mike Hackard. I represented my first clients in estate litigation 45 years ago. Many things have changed over the years. Among them – the emergence, power and ubiquity of the for-profit “professional” guardianship/conservatorship industry.
My review of the new Netflix movie I Care A Lot is from a litigator’s perspective. I like one movie reviewer, Helen Shaw’s, take on I Care A Lot. While the movie is one work, she sees it as two films in one. She calls the guardianship opening sequences the “first film.”
Her description: “a horror film about the way we exploit and ignore the elderly, particularly frightening because it’s true … demonstrating how (Rosamund) Pike’s corporate-speak pseudo-compassion makes the court system comfortable.”
Families who have suffered would say this is not a fiction. Lawyers who have litigated this do not find the first film’s scenario unreal. Writer/Director J. Blakeson’s take on this is inspired.
He’s said to have been enraged by stories he read about predatory guardians taking advantage of voiceless victims. There is much more to this movie than the first film.
That said, the first film is extraordinary. Smooth. An accomplished scammer’s clockwork precision. A swift trap for the unsuspecting elderly. The self-appointed guardian. A licensed cover for professional immorality. Isolates her charges from families. Drains their assets. Unchecked avarice. The film proceeds from there.
My advice – the film (or really the two films put together) can be enjoyed as a dark comedy. My caution – don’t consider the first film about guardianship to be pure fantasy. Many Americans across the political, geographic and economic landscape have experienced the dark side of the guardianship/conservatorship for profit industry – the deception of protection.
Don’t be surprised that Rosamund Pike, the insidious guardian, comes across as a slick, ruthless sociopath. It’s said that art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. From this litigator’s perspective, I Care A Lot is a stunning success.
Enjoy the story, and keep in mind that in this case, art is imitating life – predatory for-profit guardians really are that bad.
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