Film Review: “The Nest” (2020)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We are always amazed when we see a beautiful family passing by. Their charm, ease, self-control, and readiness to share happiness with others is enviable. And their financial success serves as the cherry on top of the cake when they leave their houses. But what happens when the same family is inside their premises? Are they as happy and satisfied as they appear on the outside, or are they just like a good looking apple that’s rotten inside?

Written and directed by Sean Durkin, “The Nest” offers a story of deception, retribution, and vile approach to unveil the true horror a family can go through. The OHara family of four includes Rory (Jude Law), Allison (Carrie Coon), and their children, Samantha (Oona Roche) and Ben (Charlie Shotwell), who are enjoying life in New York. Rory is a successful investment advisor, while Allison is a horse trainer. Their children go to the best school and have no complaints. They seem like the perfect role models to follow. However, when they move to England to pursue better opportunities, the family begins to crack like a windshield in freezing weather; touching it may cause falling apart.

When the film opens, we find Rory, an eloquent and self-confident family man, as he prepares a hot drink for his wife and serves breakfast to his children. What can be better than having a loving person who takes excellent care of everyone? He even drops his children off at school. Allison is a relaxed, calm, and self-assured woman who is busy training her students to ride a horse. It seems perfection is written all over the family unity, while the married couple is comparable to the stuff written in novels.

All that changes when Rory decides to move to London to pursue more opportunities. He promises that life in London will be more exciting, eventful, and full of possibilities. Upon their arrival, Allison is stunned to see a huge mansion right before her eyes, paid for by her wealthy husband for an entire year. The rooms are too big, and some can’t even be used. The setting prepares us for a ghost to begin haunting the family. And it does, in a way; the ghost of perception, lies, and revenge comes after the OHara family, slowly burning down the beautiful façade they had built to reveal its dark and ugly side that can disturb any human eye.

“The Nest” provides a great image of a family whose success revolves around money. In general, family ties cannot break this quickly if the foundation was strong. As writer and director, Sean Durkin goes deep into that foundation and finds the perfect weak spot to reveal what hides underneath. Jude Law as Rory and Carrie Coon as his on-screen wife are brilliant. Their subtle performance of a failed perfection is a must-see. The scene where Allison is standing beside her husband at the party, as Rory’s boss delivers a speech, is when Allison learns the truth about Rory’s decision to return to London. The truth, which generally should have a healing effect, begins to destroy their magnificent castle of marriage.

Everything about “The Nest” works; whether it’s the writing style, direction, performances, score, or settings, all of these help us get closer to the O`Hara family, their lifestyle, expectations, failures, and the ultimate fall. Stories like this remind us that it’s easy to pretend who we are not rather than facing reality. The reality that collapses all expectations, bringing them towards the edge of life no one would want to find himself or herself in.

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