Coming from writer/director Sean Durkin, IFC Films and the Official Selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival is a look at life that is more want than reality when building THE NEST.
Rory (Jude Law) is a commodities broker living in the US with wife Allison (Carrie Coon) and kids Samantha (Oona Roche) and Benjamin (Charlie Shotwell). Feeling his options for making money have dried up, Rory is excited to tell Allison that he wants to move back to England and return to job he once had.
Allison is not happy about it since she runs an equestrian stable and is settled. She agrees to go leaving everything behind except her beloved horse. When they arrive, Rory is thrilled to take the family to their new home which is practically an old castle. He is also excited to show Allison the space where she can have her own stables built.
Getting the kids in school and off to work, Rory starts in immediately getting reacquainted with friend Steve (Adeel Akhtar) and CEO Arthur Davis (Michael Culkin). Throwing his ideas out he is hoping to bring in new clients, make big deals and get money in the bank. The slight problem about Rory is that he tends to want the biggest and the best – at any cost.
Allison is having a difficult time adjusting but finds a little solace in the arrival of her horse. Seeing the stables being built also helps her get into a routine. It does not take long before each member of the family begins to fall apart in their own way. Allison decides its time to be real and not always in the best of ways.
It is time for the façade to end!
Law as Rory was born to play this role. There is something about this actor that you can easily read his face no matter what lines come out of his mouth. He is a man who wants the best of everything and does not care how he gets it. He can spin a lie into the truth with ease and make one think they are crazy which brings us to Allison.
Coon as Allison is a woman who is happy in her marriage knowing that Rory takes care of everything. Once the move happens, she becomes nervous to the point of doing things she normally would not as a way to cope. Her change is brought on by many things to the point where I found myself getting jittery! Well done.
Roche as Samantha is a teen girl who is in a world all her own. She cares very much for Rory but knows that her parents are struggling in a house that is nothing short of depressing for everyone. Shotwell as Benjamin is a young boy who I felt the most for. Caught in the middle of a father who has put them all in their current situation, a mother who is falling apart and a sister who pretty much has checked out of the situation to be a teenager.
Other cast include Tattiawana Jones as Coach, Oona Roche as Samantha, Kaisa Hammarlund as Helena, Tommy Surridge as Paul, Gunnar Cauthery as Jon and Polly Allen as Stella.
IFC Films is a leading distributor of quality talent-driven independent films. Some of the company’s successes include BOYHOOD, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, CHE, TINY FURNITURE and CARLOS. For more information on films from IFC please visit www.ifcfilms.com
Writer and director Sean Durkin said of his film, “Growing up between American and England in the 80’s and 90’s, I experienced a stark difference in atmosphere between the two places that has long stayed with me. I always felt the contrast would provide a haunting tonal shift in a film and this backdrop sparked the conception of THE NEST. Within this setting I wanted to reflect on personal experiences to create an unsettling, naturalistic family drama that explores how a move across the Atlantic uproots the dormant truths that lie beneath this family’s dynamic.”
THE NEST is a dive into the relationship of this family based on a façade that Rory has created, and Allison has allowed. What happens is that, with all facades, the cracks begin to show, and these two characters do not know how to handle it and the children pay the price. Trust me that there is no way you cannot yell at the screen wanting to help.
The shift between the life they had in the United States and England, although geographically different, is caused by the life the couple created. Starting over does not mean leaving the problems behind, issues do not need a passport! Law and Coon are on it from start to finish until the final shot feels as if they are forced into reality.
In the end – having it all is never enough!