Barks of Joy!! Lady Gaga’s Dogs Returned Safely, Dognappers Still at Large

Acts of bizarre cruelty continue unabated. The good news is Lady Gaga’s two stolen pet dogs have  been returned.  The bad news is her dog walker was shot, seriously wounded and still remains hospitalized.

Daily Beast 2.26.2021

An unidentified woman who was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the thieves turned them in, LAPD said.

Lady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, are homeward bound after being safely returned, according to NBC.

Multiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white car, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer.

Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover.

An unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m. Friday, Capt. Jonathan Tippett told the local station. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. How she came to possess them is unclear. No arrests have been made in the case.

The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”

TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news.

Lady Gaga Bulldogs II 2.26.2021.jpg

It takes a Disaster to make a positive long term change and force people to adapt

The San Francisco Chronicle is conducting a Survey asking how the Pandemic has changed their lives.  Here is my submission followed by the article.

Lee Heidhues 1.25.2021

The Pandemic has actually produced some positive change in the midst of death and chaos.

The Pandemic has been a boon for personal outdoor recreation in San Francisco. 

A car free Golden Gate Park, Great Highway and the number of streets closed to cars was only an event I could dream about.

In addition, downtown San Francisco is no longer a human bumper to bumper Dystopia.  It is actually possible to breathe the air and not get swallowed up amongst the tangled mass of humanity and the assorted paraphernalia which accompanies it.

After a year it may be a sad truism but I believe it takes a Disaster to make a positive long term change and force people to adapt to new habits.

Market Street 4.6.2020.jpg

San Francisco Chronicle 1.25.2021

Cast your mind back, if you will, to March 17, 2020.

Six Bay Area counties had just issued first-in-the-nation orders to shelter in place, shuttering all but essential businesses and asking residents to stay home for the next three weeks. Shops boarded up, gun sales surged, and downtown San Francisco grew eerily still.

Three weeks came and went, and weeks stretched into months, then nearly a year.

Now, as we approach the anniversary of shelter-in-place, we want to hear from you. How has the past year changed you and your relationships? What have you learned? How is the person you are today different from who you were a year ago?

“We are in a rough place. And we are going to have difficult times ahead of us,” said San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow at a news conference announcing the start of shelter-in-place. “The measures that we are putting in place are temporary. But they will last longer than any of us want.”11 D1 bike ride

We didn’t know then — couldn’t have known and wouldn’t have guessed — that one year later we’d still be in the midst of the pandemic, masking up and staying apart. And we couldn’t have predicted how the past 12 months would change us in ways trivial and profound.

So, tell us your story. How has one year of the pandemic changed you?

• Send your pandemic reflection to with the subject line “One Year,” and we’ll publish a selection of responses.

• We can’t respond to all emails, but your submission will be read and considered.

Great Highway III 11.15.2020


Carnival barker’s nightmare. Supes to probe GG Park Ferris Wheel money

Thank goodness there are investigative journalists like Tim Redmond, long time San Francisco reporter.  Unceasingly vigilant at ferreting out corruption and the coziness between big business and City Hall he knows how the City really works.

The following report in 48 Hills, the on-line successor to the Bay Guardian, paints a stark picture of what the carnival barkers dream in Golden Gate Park is all about.

This latest tale of  insidious politics San Francisco  exposes once and for all why this corporate bauble, promoted by Rec and Park Director Phil Ginsburg and his corporate cronies, must go.  NOW!!

Carnival barker III 2.24.2021.jpg

48 Hills – Tim Redmond 2.23.2021

The Ferris Wheel in Golden Gate Park has (weirdly) become another front in the Yimby battles, with the likes of Sen. Scott WienerRandy Shaw, and Sam Moss (but not Laura Foote!) attacking the people who don’t want to see the giant attraction stay in the park for another four years.

But there’s another side of the story that isn’t being told.

The reason the Recreation and Parks Department wants to extend the run of the Ferris Wheel – according to Rec-Park documents – is that the St. Louis-based vendor that built it, SkyStar Partners, needs about 500,000 rides to make the roughly $9 million it was counting on.

And the private San Francisco Parks Alliance, which is a part of the FBI corruption investigation in SF, was counting on taking its share of about $500,000.

You can read the contract here. Not a penny of the revenue from this carnival ride will go to the city. It’s split between SkyStar and the Parks Alliance, which is supposed to use it to finance celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park.

GG Park Concourse IV2.14.2021

But we have seen the problems with what the Parks Alliance does with its money. From the SF Controller’s Office:

Mohammed Nuru and others would direct staff to procure goods and services for staff appreciation, volunteer programs, merchandise, community support, and events from specific vendors, circumventing city purchasing controls. These purchases would then be reimbursed through Public Works subaccounts held by the Parks Alliance, a non-city organization, again outside of city purchasing rules. Mr. Nuru solicited funds for these purchases from interested parties, including businesses that had contracts with the department or city building permits. The gifts, which were not accepted or disclosed by the City, create a perceived “pay-to-play” relationship.

Since COVID at first reduced the capacity of the Ferris Wheel and then shut it down, neither private entity is getting the money they expected. So the idea is to let the wheel keep running until the cash comes in. From the Rec-Park staff report:

With the future availability of operational days for the wheel and future capacity limits unknown, SFPRD proposes a permit modification that will allow the Operator to recoup extra costs incurred due to closures and operational compliance with COVID safety requirements; as well as to allow Golden Gate Park visitors to experience the wheel. To accomplish these goals, the Department is proposing to extend the Permit until March 1, 2023. This extension will accommodate the anticipated riders from the original permit and an increase in ridership to help offset the financial hardship suffered by the Operator. The Operator has had to incur significant costs (i) to secure and maintain the wheel while it was closed , (ii) to follow COVID safety requirements with extra staffing and protocols when it re-opened, and (iii) due to the significant cost of closing shortly after finally opening.

Lots of San Francisco small businesses (and SkyStar is not a San Francisco small business) have suffered deeply during the pandemic. Most of them aren’t getting this kind of deal to bail them out.

Sups. Aaron Peskin and Connie Chan are calling on the controller and the city’s budget analyst to investigate the Parks Alliance and its role in this deal:

“Instead of going directly to our city’s general fund, the revenue generated from Skystar is going to a nonprofit that is still under FBI and public corruption investigations,” said Chan, whose district includes Golden Gate Park. “It raises the question of whether this is a good government practice and whether such practices contribute to the ‘pay-to-play’ culture among city agencies.


Recent revelations have demonstrated that the opaque nature of several organizations, including the SF Parks Alliance, has aided and abetted corruption within San Francisco government.”

Argue all you want about how much fun the Ferris Wheel can be. (It will operate in a fenced-off area where you need an $18 ticket to enter, and will be able to sell food and booze there—at, I suspect, rather high prices.) A lot of neighbors aren’t happy. That’s one part of the debate.

But the money from this operation is going to a group that is now going to be under multiple investigations. That’s another story entirely.

Carnival barker II 2.24.2021.jpg

POA Law and Order chant alive and well in San Francisco in DA recall push

Lee Heidhues 2.23.2021

It is beyond disgusting that a political loser can raise his head in supposedly Progressive San Francisco, incite the mob and receive even a moment of serious attention.  

With obvious backing from the Police Officers Association, a  failed Republican Mayoral candidate  is now pandering to the masses and pushing a recall measure against DA Chesa Boudin.

This misguided  money wasting campaign in the midst of the Pandemic is an insult to San Francisco.  In one year in office Chesa Boudin has implemented many policy reforms he promised as a candidate.

DA Boudin needs to be lauded for his accomplishments during the past 13 months.

Yes. Crime is  a problem in San Francisco.  There has been non-stop sensationalized reporting of criminal acts.  The mainstream media has gone into overdrive to lay every crime in San Francisco at the doorstep of the District Attorney.  This loud, obnoxious chorus has received attention far beyond what it deserves.

Should this POA supported Recall make the ballot tens of thousands of people who voted Chesa into office and support his vision will have to be at the proverbial barricades and soundly defeat this reprehensible political attack.

Chesa Election Night I I 11.5.2019

Excerpted from The Bay Area Reporter 2.23.2021

A group of residents has started the process to recall San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Approval of the signature-gathering phase of the effort is likely to come in the next week, according to the recall’s lead organizer.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported, Richie Greenberg, a business adviser and activist who in 2018 was a Republican candidate for mayor, started a petition January 2 urging Boudin to resign.

The elections department is awaiting proof of publication and two blank copies of the petition, a spokesperson told the B.A.R.

“Once the petition format is approved, the proponents may begin circulating the petition,” Matthew Selby, the campaign services division manager with the elections department, stated. “Therefore, the department cannot confirm when the circulation of the petition will begin.”

Boudin did not respond to a request for comment.

According to a recall guide issued by the city in 2010, “valid signatures of at least 10% of registered voters of the City and County at the time the proponent(s) filed the notice of intention” are required to qualify the recall for the ballot. According to Selby, that threshold in this effort is 51,324.

Chesa II 10.28.2019

Malcolm X’s family reveals letter. NYPD, FBI links Malcolm’s ’65 assassination

It was 56 years ago that Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City. His assassination, presumably by Black Muslim followers of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, has long been steeped in mystery.

The story of Malcolm’s assassination continues to unravel slowly and belatedly.  Malcolm was young, smart, charismatic. His advocacy for Black empowerment had a profound impact on American history .  Perhaps comparable to Martin Luther King who was gunned down in Memphis three years later.  Both men were 39 at the time of their assassinations.

Excerpted from Washington Post 2.22.2021

Family members of Malcolm X have revealed a letter written by a New York police officer that they say shows the NYPD and the FBI were behind the 1965 assassination of the famed Black leader.

The 2011 letter by the now-dead officer, Raymond A. Wood, stated that Wood had been compelled by his supervisors at the New York Police Department to coax two members of Malcolm X’s security team into committing crimes, leading to their arrests just a few days before the assassination. They were then unable to secure the entry to New York’s Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X had been speaking when he was killed.


Wood maintained that the arrests were part of a conspiracy by the NYPD and the FBI to murder Malcolm X, who had become disenchanted with the Nation of Islam and left the Black separatist group to start his own organization, the Muslim Mosque.

“I was a black New York City undercover police officer between May of 1964 through May of 1971,” Wood’s letter began. “I participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to my own black people. … Under the direction of my handlers, I was told to encourage leaders and members of the civil rights groups to commit felonious acts.”

Wood said he was hired by the NYPD to infiltrate the civil rights groups “to find evidence of criminal activity, so the F.B.I. could discredit and arrest its leaders.”

He said that he threatened to resign but that his supervisors said if he did, they would charge him with false crimes. His supervisors, Wood said, concocted an alleged plot to bomb the Statue of Liberty that implicated the members of Malcolm X’s security detail and led to their arrests.

On the day of the assassination, Wood said, his supervisors ordered him to be at the Audubon Ballroom, where he was identified by witnesses while leaving the scene. Khalil Islam, also known as Thomas Johnson, “was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD,” he said.

The letter was presented at a news conference Saturday in New York by Malcolm X’s three daughters and civil rights attorney Ben Crump. A cousin of Wood, Reggie Wood, joined them in revealing the letter’s contents at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, on the site where the Audubon Ballroom once stood.

Raymond Wood, who had written the letter shortly after being diagnosed with stomach cancer, had stipulated to his cousin that he did not want his involvement to be made public until after his death. His cancer went into remission in 2012, and he did not die until Nov. 24, 2020.

Malcolm X II 2.22.2021.jpg

Sunday marked the 56th anniversary of the assassination. At her daily briefing Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the revelations in the letter. “I have not seen that letter,” she said. “If you want to provide it to us, I’m happy to have the right person look into it after the briefing.”


Early last year, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that his office would review the convictions of two Nation of Islam members who were held responsible in Malcolm X’s killing. One of the men who confessed to the killing, Mujahid Abdul Halim (a.k.a. Talmadge Hayer or Thomas Hagan), has maintained since his 1966 trial that the other two Nation members, Islam and Muhammad Aziz (a.k.a. Norman Butler), were innocent.

Halim served 45 years in prison before he was paroled in 2010. Islam, paroled in 1987, died in 2009. Aziz, 83, was paroled in 1985. The Innocence Project, along with attorney David B. Shanies, are fighting to clear Islam’s and Aziz’s names.

A 2020 documentary series on Netflix, “Who Killed Malcolm X?” and efforts by the Innocence Project prompted Vance to review whether to reopen the case.

After Saturday’s news conference, Vance’s office released a statement saying its “review of this matter is active and ongoing.”

In a separate statement, the NYPD said it “has provided all available records relevant to the case to the District Attorney. The Department remains committed to assist with that review in any way.” The FBI has declined to comment.

Malcolm X III 2.22.2021.jpg

The assassination of Malcolm X has long been a subject of fascination to historians and activists, given the acrimony between Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X after his break with the group.

According to witnesses in the Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965, a man rushed forward and shot Malcolm once in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun as two other men also charged the stage firing semiautomatic handguns. Malcolm X was pronounced dead that afternoon, shortly after arriving at a hospital.

Malcolm X’s widow, Betty Shabazz, said she believed current Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a protege of Malcolm X, was involved in her husband’s assassination. In the Dec. 4, 1964, issue of Muhammad Speaks, the organization’s newspaper, Farrakhan wrote: “The die is set and Malcolm shall not escape. … Such a man is worthy of death.” He later acknowledged that his remarks played a role in the assassination.





‘Apocalypse Now’ 2021 version. Spike Lee ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Storms Into Oscar Race

I am watching the Spike Lee ‘Da 5 Bloods’ a thoroughly engrossing, thought provoking and intense story of four black GIs who return to Vietnam in honor of their slain comrade and in search of the literal pot of Gold they left behind nearly 50 years ago.

DA 5 Bloods IV  2.20.2021.jpg

Spike Lee pulls no punches in dissecting the long term effects on the black soldiers who carried the brunt of the fighting and the Vietnam culture which bore the brunt of American destruction visited on their country.

This is must see cinema.

DA 5 Bloods II 2.20.2021.jpg

DA 6 Bloods IV  2.20.2021.jpg

Hanoi Hannah

New York Magazine – Vulture 1.29.2021

Best Picture


Da 5 Bloods

Time has come today for Spike Lee’s Vietnam epic, which reentered the Best Picture conversation by taking Best Picture and Best Director honors from the National Board of Review, as well as a spot on the American Film Institute’s top-ten list. It’s an unexpected show of force for this June debut, a comeback made possible by the film’s fiery political message, the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, and possibly the fact that the months on the calendar have lost all meaning.

Best Director


Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods

Lee’s Best Director prize at the NBR was an encouraging Oscar precursor: Every winner since 2010 has seen their film go on to crack the Best Picture lineup. The trophy’s track record at predicting a Director nomination is less assured (it’s gone to famously snubbed filmmakers like A Star Is Born’s Bradley Cooper and The Martian’s Ridley Scott), but it’s a boost nonetheless to Lee, whose hypercinematic style stands out in a field full of stage-to-screen adaptations.

DA 5 Bloods V  2.20.2021.jpg

Nextdoor and its Orwellian “Rant” policy

 The ongoing saga of asserting my First Amendment rights to free speech in the face of Nextdoor’s Orwellian censorship continues.  I apparently have violated a Nextdoor policy re “rants.”

At the same time the Nextdoor Supervisor readily admits I have NOT been, “attacking your neighbors or using language deemed inappropriate.”

Attn Nextdoor Supervisor – Holly

Ranting??? Are you kidding?

  1. a long, angry, and impassioned speech.
    “at times, his rantings would become incoherent”

Ranting III 2.18.2021.jpg

I presume your venue is outside San Francisco. If it is not, I stand corrected.

San Francisco is the most political City imaginable. Everything is a battle.  When you have 850,000 people living within a 50 sq. mile radius that’s the reality.

It’s a sad commentary on Nextdoor policies that a disgruntled reader or readers have the power to violate my First Amendment right of free speech.

I could have blocked any number of folks who took exception to my commentaries on making the Great Highway by the Pacific Ocean permanently car free.

I have been personally attacked.  The most egregious example occurred when someone told me I am putting myself “at risk” with my posts.

Other critics have told me I should leave San Francisco where I have resided for most of my life and move to Berkeley.  Or, for example, being told I have no business posting on this subject because I don’t own a car.

Upon being released from Nextdoor purgatory I have no intention of going into a Group.

I will continue to exercise my right of protected free speech and advocate for issues in the way I have been doing.

A manner which Nextdoor itself admits have NOT been, “attacking your neighbors or using language deemed inappropriate.”

As I did with your co-workers previous message, I am going to post all of this on my blog


Lee Heidhues

San Francisco

From: <>
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2021 3:07 PM
Subject: RE: Case # 05938988: NEXT DOOR PENALTY BOX

Hi Lee,

My name’s Holly, and I’m a supervisor with Nextdoor’s Support team. Your case was escalated to me for further review.

When we receive reports of anyone’s content, we will thoroughly review it and determine if it is in violation. In this case, this is the reason why your account is disabled. While I can confirm your posts were not attacking your neighbors or using language deemed inappropriate, they still fall under our Guideline regarding ranting.

If you’d like to continue posting about the highway, you’re encouraged to create a group dedicated to this topic so that neighbors interested can join and participate.

Let me know if you need further assistance.


Ranting II 2.18.2021.jpeg


One person or even 100 people took exception, I say “So what?”

Attn Joyel at Nextdoor – 2.17.2021

Thanks. I am going to forward this to 30 plus individuals, journalists and San Francisco officials to point out how absolutely absurd and ridiculous is the Decision to place me in the ‘Penalty Box’ for espousing a point of view which doesn’t sit well with SOME PEOPLE.

Thank you for providing me with the evidence, my own words, which beyond any doubt prove the absurdity of Nextdoor’s overarching willingness to bow to any complaint, specious as it may be.

Because one person or even 100 people took exception, I say “So what?”

There’s no personal attack. No inappropriate language. Nothing.

I am appalled at Nextdoor acting worse than a Helicopter mom.

Lee Heidhues

San Francisco

PS: The only thing missing below are the two Simpsons photos on the Nextdoor Great Highway Reality Check V post. They are included here.

Disinformation Superhighway III 2.15.2021

Nextdoor Message 1.17.2021

Hi Lee,

Thanks for contacting us about this issue.

We temporarily disabled your Nextdoor account after we received a complaint regarding your recent content and found that you had violated our Community Guidelines on ranting.

Here is an example of the content that was brought to our attention:
Great Highway Reality Check V

Having reviewed the nearly 500 comments since the GHRC series hit the shores of Nextdoor a week ago I found a potentially more apt title for this ongoing series. LIFE ON THE DISINFORMATION SUPER HIGHWAY with a little help from Bart Simpson

Great Highway Reality Check IV. Taking to the street

Today is the second day of the Lunar New Year of the Ox. To celebrate a group of 50 plus adults and kids cycled through the Richmond District of San Francisco. Many of the streets we traversed are now car free.

I had the opportunity to engage in conversation with several high placed City Hall functionaries who were along for the ride. I also spoke with a well known local print news reporter. I provided them with my unvarnished point of view about maintaining a CAR FREE San Francisco on The Great Highway.
The City Hall executives listened carefully and are receptive to making permanent the long term initiatives now in place which they promoted.

Great Highway Reality Check Part II

Now that the Nextdoor community has expended its Exhaust I will now list some alternatives for the annoyed and besieged motorist.
There are alternatives which every motorist knows full well but has yet to acknowledge. Why? Motorists would be obliged to go out of their way en route to the destination.
• Going west coming off the GGP Panhandle. People can take Kezar Drive to Lincoln Way and continue to Sunset Drive. Drive south on Sunset to Sloat Blvd. Motor to the Great Highway and continue south.
• Going south through Golden Gate Park.(Option 1). Motorists can enter the Park at 25th and Fulton. Continue to Transverse Drive. Continue to Lincoln Way. Turn West and continue to Sunset Boulevard. Drive to Sloat. Continue to the Great Highway and continue south.
• Going south through Golden Gate Park.(Option 2). Enter the Park at either 36th or 30th Avenue. Head east on JFK Drive. Turn south at Transverse Drive. Continue to Lincoln Way. Turn West and continue to Sunset Boulevard. Motor to Sloat. Drive to the Great Highway and continue south.
I am not providing the eastbound or northbound alternatives because the astute motorist can figure it out. Suffice it to say, there are feasible options.

As a result, your account will remain disabled until at least 02/20/2021. At that time, you can log into your account and access your Nextdoor neighborhood after checking a box stating that you agree to following the Guidelines.

Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


Disinformation Superhighway II 2.15.2021

Must see movie. Rosamund Pike is genuinely hateful in ‘I Care a Lot’

My initial exposure to Rosamund Pike was in the film Gone Girl, the adaptation of  Gillian Flynn’s runaway best seller. Her understated and off kilter performance got my attention. In the intervening years Ms. Pike has made a number of films.  This one has my attention. 

San Francisco Chronicle – Mick LaSalle 2.17.2021

“I Care a Lot” does something difficult. It holds our attention even as it follows a character that we actively dislike and root against. This isn’t a “Richard III” situation, where we’re seduced into cheering on the villain. The villain is genuinely hateful here.

The movie stars Rosamund Pike, who is steadily becoming one of the most interesting actresses in movies, simply by accepting parts like this one. Just in the past few years, she’s played three women driven to death by their work — Marie Colvin in “A Private War,” Marie Curie in “Radioactive” and terrorist Brigitte Kuhlmann in “7 Days in Entebbe.” She’s equally driven here, for a performance that has already won her a Golden Globe nomination.

Pike is nominated for lead actress in a musical or comedy film, and if you can find a laugh (or a musical number) in “I Care a Lot,” be sure to let me know. Pike plays Marla, who is running a very evil scam. She has a legal guardianship business. She finds old people who have no power or influence and has herself appointed their guardian. Then she pays herself a handsome salary by selling off the assets. She does this with the help of corrupt doctors, nursing home operators and one particularly gullible judge.

In an early scene, we see how easy it would be for a judge to believe the word of this highly polished professional woman over some scruffy, emotional next-of-kin. And once the trap closes, it’s all but hopeless: Who seems more demented than an old person yelling and insisting that they’re not crazy?

Rosamund Pike in “I Care a Lot.”Photo: Seacia Pavao , Netflix

“I Care a Lot” (available on Netflix starting Friday, Feb. 19) might have been more unambiguously successful if writer-director J Blakeson had leaned into the comedy, allowing us to watch the action from a distance and regard Marla as more of a force of nature than a malevolent force. But successful movies are delicate mechanisms, and it’s just as possible that an extra push into comedy might have dampened the story’s thriller aspects.

As it stands, “I Care a Lot” keeps us watching from beginning to end, because we keep wanting to know what’s going to happen next. Dianne Wiest has one of her best recent movie roles as one of Marla’s victims, Jennifer. One morning, as she’s sitting in her nice kitchen in her nice house, listening to Debussy — a vision of blissful retirement — there’s a knock at the door, and before she knows it, she’s a prisoner in a state hellhole.

What makes Wiest such fun here is that the woman she plays is not exactly what she seems. The scenes with Marla are some of the best in the movie, in which Jennifer pierces through her with a drugged haze, letting Marla know that she’s picked the wrong woman to mess with.

As a writer, Blakeson understands that no character should be purely functional, and so he gives each character idiosyncrasies and the suggestion of a past history. Then, as a director, he brings those out in the actors. Consequently, “I Care a Lot” is notable for its colorful supporting and featured roles — Chris Messina as a mob lawyer, Peter Dinklage as a Russian mobster and Eiza Gonzalez as Marla’s girlfriend.

But the main attraction is Pike, who doesn’t try to make us like her. She commits to the character’s nature and holds us with her honesty, her intensity and her unmistakable pleasure in getting to play someone appalling.

M“I Care a Lot”: Thriller. Starring Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest and Peter Dinklage. Directed by J Blakeson. (R. 118 minutes.) Available on Netflix starting Friday, Feb. 19.