Time: 117 Minutes
Jude Law as Rory O’Hara
Carrie Coon as Allison O’Hara
Charlie Shotwell as Benjamin “Ben” O’Hara
Oona Roche as Samantha “Sam” O’Hara
Adeel Akhtar as Steve
Director: Sean Durkin
Rory (Jude Law) is an ambitious entrepreneur who brings his American wife (Carrie Coon) and kids to his native country, England, to explore new business opportunities. After abandoning the sanctuary of their safe American suburban surroundings, the family is plunged into the despair of an archaic ’80s Britain and their unaffordable new life in an English manor house threatens to destroy the family.
With The Nest I didn’t really know what to expect from it. I just knew it as a drama starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, and plenty of people have said that it’s really good. It turned out to be quite a good movie, it was a bit of a slow burn and took a while to really pick up, but was well made and intriguing nonetheless.
One thing to note is that The Nest is definitely a slow moving drama. While I was interested in the movie from beginning to end, it does take a while for you to settle into it and figure out what it is about. I’d figure that it’s just after the first act that the movie really started to connect with me. This movie at its core is a family drama, portraying a slow but catastrophic disintegration of a marriage, and a downfall of a man due to his own greed which affects his family in the process. It really is the deconstruction of the nuclear family, with themes about family, wealth, and what it means to be successful. The Nest is a slow descent to chaos and it really creeps up on you. One of the things that you don’t expect is that it feels quite uneasy, uncomfortable and stressful to watch, and not even in an overt way. It has a sinister, moody and sombre atmosphere throughout. There are times where it even has a horror movie feel to it (even though it very much isn’t in the horror genre). It had me intrigued in which direction it was going in.
The acting is a highlight of the movie for sure, particularly with the leads in Jude Law and Carrie Coon as a married couple. They are both great and they are particularly fantastic when on screen together. However between the two, it really is Carrie Coon who steals the show in a well controlled and emotionally charged performance. Definitely deserves some awards attention. Their kids are played by Oona Roche and Charlie Shotwell, they play their parts very well and fully portray their own characters.
This movie is directed by Sean Durkin, and his work here is great. It makes me want to check out his previous movie, Martha Macy May Marlene, which was released 9 years earlier. I do hope his next movie will come a lot sooner. The direction is procedural in some ways, quite subtle, but yet so effective. I mentioned earlier how this movie has a horror movie feel to it, and a big part of that is the direction. The cinematography from was great, and it is purposely made to look like a horror film with its zooms and shadowy corners and long takes. There are even some typical horror moments that happen here, like doors mysteriously opening that gives creepiness to the true essence of the film. The editing keeps the film moving while giving scenes and reactions plenty of time to breathe. The dissolve transitions particularly add even more to the atmosphere, which draws you deeper into it. The lack of music in scenes keeps the suspense and tension at an all time high as well. The use of music from the 80s fitted the moments well, and the few uses of the score here was effective, and really adds to the atmosphere.
The Nest is an atmospheric and slow building family drama, incredibly well shot and directed, and the performances are great, mainly Jude Law and Carrie Coon. It’s not really for everyone because of the pacing, but I do think it’s worth checking out.