I Care a Lot: That ending explained and all your questions answered



Eiza Gonzalez, Dianne Wiest and Rosamund Pike star in I Care a Lot.


Just finished I Care a Lot? Need a moment to digest that bittersweet ending? This jam-packed thriller you can watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video has it all: Memorable Movie Characters, a twist-filled plot and Rosamund Pike’s magnificent Lego haircut. To cap it all off, it was inspired by real-life events. Let’s go through I Care a Lot’s shock ending and biggest questions.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Where can I stream I Care a Lot?

Netflix bought the rights to distribute I Care a Lot in the US, France, Germany, Latin America, South Africa, the Middle East and India. For Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, you can watch it on Amazon Prime Video.

Is I Care a Lot based on a true story?

Writer-director J Blakeson said he was inspired to write I Care a Lot when he saw news stories about professional guardians in America and a “legal loophole” they were exploiting. “It started when I saw news stories about real-life predatory guardians who game the system and exploit their wards,” he said. He went down a “Google rabbit-hole” in researching for the film: “I was horrified. Imagine opening your door one day and there is a person standing there holding a piece of paper that gives them total legal power over you.” He added, “This provided a lot of themes that interested me, like ambition, the American Dream, and humans becoming commodities. So the story started there. I sat and wrote it on my own and very quickly it formed into what is now I Care a Lot.”

What’s the guardianship phenomenon?

If you want to explore what inspired the dark, immoral side of Marla Grayson, The New Yorker has a 2017 essay on the guardianship phenomenon.

What’s with the vaping?

Rosamund Pike revealed that her character Marla Grayson had initially built a vaping company earlier in her career, but this part of her backstory didn’t make it into the film. “The backstory of Marla is that she had a vape business until she was Walmart-ed out of business by a great big discount vape store opening across the street, which she was furious about,” Pike told Collider. “I think that was her shot at the American dream played fair. She had a small-time business, she was a small-time business owner, she got screwed and then she thought, ‘Right. Chips are down. I’m going all out. I’m gonna play the system like everybody else.’ And I think every time she inhales, it’s bringing that attitude to it. It’s the attitude of having been screwed and now you’re out to screw everybody.”

Does Jennifer Peterson get out of the nursing home at the end?

You might have noticed we don’t see much more of Jennifer Peterson around the halfway point, once Marla has her committed to a psychiatric ward. Marla and Roman discuss Jennifer at the end, when Marla again asks for $10 million to have her released. Instead, Roman pulls a wild card and offers to partner up with Marla to build a global nursing home business. In accepting, it’s assumed Marla does see to Jennifer’s release as part of the deal.

Why did Marla have to die?

It’s time to talk about that ending. Maybe you wanted to see Marla meet her comeuppance for her wall of exploited old people. But her death’s effect on Fran (Eiza González) equally hits you in the chest. Here’s what Rosamund Pike had to say about her character’s demise.

“In my head, Marla never believed she was going to die,” Pike told USA Today. “I mean, right until the point that she breathes her last, I think she still thinks she’s going to win and she’s going to get out of it. I really do.”

Filmmaker Blakeson said, “People find the ending satisfying, but it leaves a bittersweet taste in their mouth because we end with the most likable character in the movie screaming in despair.”

What happens to Fran?

According to Blakeson, Fran inherits Marla’s share and role in the nursing home empire. This is also bittersweet, given that old folks “are going to continue to be screwed over in a real way,” Blakeson told USA Today. “You can chop the head off the hydra, but there’s another one that will keep living.”


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