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Though best known for his work as a comic ac­tor, Ja­son Bate­man (Hor­ri­ble Bosses) has been steadily nudg­ing along a di­rect­ing ca­reer in re­cent times. (His work be­hind the cam­era on the new Net­flix se­ries crime se­ries Ozark is sub­lime — be sure to check it out) This dark, de­cep­tively en­gross­ing com­edy-drama sees Bate­man part­nered with Ni­cole Kid­man to por­tray Bax­ter and An­nie, the dam­aged adult chil­dren of two no­to­ri­ously strange per­for­mance artists (Christo­pher Walken plays the fa­ther, say no more). Bate­man and Kid­man are a sur­pris­ingly ef­fec­tive team cast­ing wise, de­spite the fact they look noth­ing re­motely like bi­o­log­i­cal sib­lings. Kid­man’s mea­sured per­for­mance

(as strong as her ac­claimed show­ing in the re­cent minis­eries Big Lit­tle Lies) re­ally comes into its own in the film’s steadily un­set­tling sec­ond half. It is here that An­nie must re­luc­tantly con­front her great­est fears about her prankster par­ents and their un­healthy love of the spot­light. Plenty of re­wards here for view­ers will­ing to roll the dice.

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