How Netflix has sold a story that asks audiences to sympathize with a con artist.
The new movie I Care A Lot, out today on Netflix, seems to have as its premise “What if we made a film about John Mahoney’s character from Say Anything…, but with Rosamund Pike instead of Mahoney?” Pike plays Marla Grayson, a woman who has created a nice racket for herself as a court-appointed guardian for elderly individuals. Once she has control of their assets, she funnels them into various shady investments, pocketing the profits and leaving the estates with almost nothing. When Grayson sets her sights on her latest mark, Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), she inadvertently runs afoul of a local gangster (Peter Dinklage) and is forced to think even faster than usual to get out of a dangerous situation.
Written and directed by J Blakeson, the movie has a solid 81% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has gotten a quick, breezy campaign from Netflix that plays up Pike’s turn as a fast-talking con artist.
The first poster, released in January, has Grayson wearing sunglasses as she looks toward the camera, her hair perfect through the title treatment, shown here in big, bold letters. A pull quote calling the film “deliciously nasty” is shown near the Toronto International Film Festival branding.
A series of pop-art-esque character posters came out earlier this week, continuing the trend of visuals using just a few bold colors to really make the photos jump in the eyes of the audience.
Mid-January brought the release of the first trailer (1.6m views on YouTube), which introduces Marla as a professional carer, albeit one who might be a bit of a scammer as well. While much of what she does is barely legal, she’s warned not to further harass one woman in particular, someone who has dangerous and powerful friends. Marla is unperturbed, though and continues on with business as usual, confident she’ll come out on top.
Online and Social
Nothing here, at least nothing unique. Netflix gave the movie a bit of support on brand social channels, though.
Advertising and Promotions
Netflix acquired the film in September, shortly after its well-received debut at the Toronto Film Festival.
A short clip released just as the movie became available shows Grayson getting some new and potentially valuable information from an attorney (played by Chris Messina) for Peterson’s powerful friends.
Media and Press
Blakeson, Pike and others were interviewed about the story and why they got involved in the project during TIFF.
It’s surprising there hasn’t been more on the promotional and publicity fronts, especially given the positive reviews Pike’s performance has received. But you can’t say the campaign doesn’t make a point to highlight that performance, one that pops off the screen in the trailer just like the image does on the bold-hued posters.