Ozark (review)

Ozark (review)
Ozark (review)
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Jason Bateman stars (and regularly directs) as a financial advisor who’s also laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. When things go horribly wrong, he and his family (including Laura Linney as his wife) move from Chicago to Missouri, where they have to figure out new ways to continue paying their debt. The first season has them coping with the drastic lifestyle change brought on by the relocation, but they pretty quickly get embroiled in local criminal activity. The subsequent seasons take their involvement to new levels of deceit, corruption and illegality. What makes this show so compelling is the intelligent writing, assured direction and strong performances. Julia Garner as the foul-mouthed, truth-speaking Ruth has become the series breakout (she recently played a totally different role in The Assistant (my review). Each season gets progressively darker, as their entanglement becomes even more perilous. The new 3rd season is especially mean-spirited. It seems like everyone has malevolent ulterior motives. Even when the pacing sometimes slows to allow for personal interactions, the overarching sense of dread permeates the show, while the acting and top-quality production help the show succeed so effectively. (3 seasons of 10 episodes on Netflix)

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

Local note: The actor who plays Roy Petty (the evil gay FBI agent) is Theatre VCU graduate Jason Butler Harner. I interviewed him last year, when he was in town to speak at commencement for School of the Arts. Here’s a link to my interview.

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