I CARE A LOT*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
In narration, Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) explains there is no such thing as “good people”, and that she used to think working hard and playing fair would equal success, but now she knows that playing fair is just what rich people say to keep poor people poor. She’s been poor, and she refuses to be anymore. She says there are predators and prey, she’s not a lamb – she’s a lioness.
At the care facility, a man named Mr. Feldstrom (Macon Blair) tries desperately to see his mother but is tackled by security. He takes Marla to court, where he tells the judge Marla – his mother’s court-appointed caretaker – has kidnapped his mother and he has no way of seeing her, and that Marla is selling her assets to make money. Marla explains that a doctor diagnosed his mother saying she needed action to be taken for her own safety, and that she was appointed by the court to be his mother’s caretaker, and that her job is to care for those who need it. She says she simply sold his mother’s assets to pay for the care. Marla tells the court that Mr. Feldstrom assaulted a staff member trying to see his mother, and the judge rules in favor of Marla. After the case, Marla meets with her girlfriend Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) who is waiting for her. Mr. Feldstrom comes out and threatens her and spits in her face, and Marla tells him if he tries that again she will rip his genitals off.
Sam Rice (Damian Young) who runs the care facility, calls Marla and tells her one of her charges has died. In need of a new mark, Marla and Fran go to see their friend Dr. Karen Amos (Alicia Witt), who does the doctor recommendations for care Marla uses to get the courts to grant her caretaker status. Karen tells them she thinks she’s found a patient that is a “cherry”, a perfect mark – someone with a ton of money and no living family. She gives Marla the information on the new mark in exchange for some valuable stocks. The file is of a woman named Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest). They go to the court, and using Karen’s recommendations, get Jennifer admitted into Marla’s care. Marla goes to Jennifer’s house, who is shocked, and informs her she needs to come with her. Jennifer refuses, but Marla brings the police with her.
Marla has Jennifer committed into Sam’s care facility where they confiscate her phone, and she and Fran get to work immediately liquidating all of her assets and selling her very expensive home. Among her belongings, Marla finds a safety deposit box key, and goes and finds hidden inside it millions of dollars worth of diamonds. She later tells Fran that they weren’t listed on the safety deposit box insurance, and therefore no one will miss them – Fran wonders what the origin of them is. While Fran is overseeing work at Jennifer’s house, a taxi driver, Alexi (Nicholas Logan) arrives to pick up Jennifer and is shocked when she isn’t there. Alexi goes to see his boss, Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage), a former Russian mob boss, who threatens to kill him if he doesn’t find out what has happened to Jennifer – who is his mother. Alexi later brings Roman information on Marla.
Marla arrives at work and finds attorney Dean Ericson (Chris Messina) waiting for her. He explains he represents Jennifer and that Jennifer does not need to be in care. Dean cuts through the bullshit and says he knows all about Marla’s scam, and that he doesn’t care at all about it and she can continue as she pleases, but Jennifer is off-limits. He tells her if Jennifer isn’t released, things will become very uncomfortable for her. She demands to know who he works for. He opens a briefcase and offers her 150,000 dollars in cash. Marla says she must be worth more than that and they haggle back and forth, but Marla refuses Dean’s offer. Dean tells her she’s going to regret this decision very soon.
Later, Fran is nervous, and tells Marla maybe she should’ve taken the money. Marla goes to the facility, where Jennifer, who has been upset and demanding to be released, has been put on a ton of meds by the staff. Marla talks to Jennifer and wants to know what is going on, and Jennifer tells her she’s in trouble and that “he is coming”. Marla asks her who she is, and Jennifer says “the biggest mistake she’ll ever make”. Jennifer refuses to tell her anything until she gets her cell phone back. Marla tells her she controls her drugs, food, everything, and she will make her life a living hell if she doesn’t cooperate. Jennifer calls her a cunt and tells her to have at it.
Marla goes to see Sam and tells her to make Jennifer’s life hell – liquid diet only, pain meds down, physical activity up. Meanwhile, Roman goes to the safety deposit box and finds the diamonds missing. Dean takes Marla to court saying he is blocking her from seeing his client, and presents testimony from one of Karen’s employees saying that they were colluding to game the system. Marla points out that Dean isn’t actually Jennifer’s lawyer, and the judge rules that unless Dean can prove he’s Jennifer’s lawyer, he can’t have access to her. Roman is enraged.
Alexi and several henchman go to the facility pretending to take a tour. Meanwhile, Fran goes to Marla and tells her “Jennifer Peterson is dead” – the real Jennifer Peterson. She’s discovered that the woman in their custody is using a stolen identity. On the tour, Alexi asks Sam if they can stop by and visit their friend Jennifer Peterson, and when Sam says he’ll call Jennifer’s guardian and ask, Alexi tases him and they begin searching the facility for her. The henchman get into a shootout with a guard, but Alexi reaches Jennifer, who is relieved to see him, and begins taking her out of the facility. When they exit, Fran puts a bag over his head and Marla hits him in the stomach with a bat. The police apprehend him. Jennifer tries to flee, but the staff takes her back into custody as Roman watches from his car.
The police detective tells Marla and Fran that Alexi is Russian mob thought to have died in a fire with his boss Roman. Roman, furious, sends a hitman to kill Karen. Marla is at the gym when she sees the news about Karen’s death on the television. Fran thinks they should pack a bag and run, Marla doesn’t want to. Marla goes to see Jennifer and deduces she is Roman’s mother. Jennifer tells her if she lets her go now, Roman might let her live. Marla tells her she will never let her go because Roman didn’t play by the rules – she says they should try to beat her fair and square in court, not bring guns into a facility or murder one of her friends. She tells Jennifer she will die in the facility alone, and Jennifer attempts to strangle her. Marla shows security footage of this incident to the judge and has Jennifer committed to a higher-security psychiatric facility.
Marla goes to see a contact about fencing the diamonds while Fran packs bags for them. In the parking garage, a woman shoots Marla with a tranquilizer dart and kidnaps her. Fran returns home to get their passports while and finds the home being ransacked – the henchman attack and begin beating her up. Marla wakes up tied to a chair in front of Roman. He demands to know the location of his diamonds. He presents her with footage of her mother, and says he will kill her as well – Marla says she doesn’t care. Marla says she knows who he is and that she knows he faked his death and set his mother up with a new identity. Marla says for ten million dollars she will give him the diamonds and release his mother. He orders his men to kill her.
They drug her unconscious and put her in her car with a bottle of booze, then let the car drive itself into a lake. Marla wakes up and manages to get out of the car before drowning, and pulls a tooth out of her mouth. She stops at a gas station to get a change of clothes and returns home and finds the gas dials all turned on and Fran bloody and beaten on the floor, but alive. She gets Fran out of the building before it explodes. She gets her tooth replaced while Fran recuperates, and the next day tells Fran she’s willing to run with the diamonds, but if they do they’ll always be looking over their shoulders. She thinks they should take the fight to Roman.
Using the license plate number of the car she saw when Roman kidnapped her, Fran and Marla track down Roman’s driver and follow him until he goes to pick up Roman. Marla, wearing a disguise, enters the garage, tases his guards, then injects Roman with a drug that knocks him out. She and Fran strip him naked and leave him in the street overnight, where he is discovered the next morning by a jogger. He wakes up in the hospital with Marla at his side. She explains that without an identity, he was named a “John Doe” and put under Marla’s care. She tells him she owns him and can do whatever she wants with him, so he should wire her the ten million dollars she asked for.
Later, Marla says in exchange for the ten million she will give him the diamonds and her mother. Roman agrees, but then suggests another idea: they go into business together. He’s impressed with her grift but thinks it is small potatoes – he proposes a country-wide grift, a country-wide corporation of care services with multiple arms with thousands of guardians and hundreds of thousands of “clients”. He suggests together they’ll make millions together. Marla isn’t sure they’ll be able to trust each other, but Roman insists when they become rich trust will follow. Marla agrees.
Jennifer is released and reunites with Roman. They sell the diamonds and start their massive business, Grayson Guardianships, which becomes a huge corporation. Marla is on the cover of Forbes and other business magazines, and she and Fran get married. She is interviewed on television, where she tells the interviewer she’s just someone who cares, and anything is possible with hard work. After the interview, Marla and Fran head to their car where they are confronted by Mr. Feldstrom – Marla tells him she doesn’t have time, and he pulls out a gun and shoots her in the chest, screaming at her that his mother died in her facility and she never let him see her, and she died alone. Fran sobs, holding Marla as she bleeds out. Over that, the audio of the end of Marla’s interview plays, where she tells the interviewer “Thanks. It’s been fun.”
Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is a con artist who targets elderly people and gets court-ordered guardianship of them, places them in assisted living and then sells all their belongings for profit. She and her girlfriend and partner Fran (Eiza Gonzalez) come upon a seemingly perfect target - Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) who has a ton of money and no living relatives. They force Jennifer into a facility, but a massive wrench is thrown into their plan because Jennifer Peterson is using a fake identity, she is actually the mother of Russian mob boss Roman Lunyov (Peter Dinklage). Peter and Marla go to violent war, and eventually Marla gets one over on Roman and gets him signed into her custody. Roman is impressed and they decide to go into business together and he funds her taking her caregiving con global into a massive fortune 500 company with Marla becoming the world-famous rich CEO. While leaving an interview, a disgruntled father of one of Marla's victims shoots her in the chest.