The Nest - B
Rated R, 107 minutes
As the old saying goes when looking at buying a home: location, location, location. If you talk to a real estate agent, you'll likely hear the importance of location in the selection of your home. Location is of utmost importance in the well-acted, unsettling new drama "The Nest" from director and writer Sean Durkin, of the acclaimed "Martha Marcy May Marlene."
The future of a family led by entrepreneur Roy O'Hara (Jude Law), his wife Allison ("Gone Girl's" Carrie Coon) along with their children Sam (Oona Roche) and Ben (Charlie Shotwell) is plunged into uncertainty upon relocation from America to England, as the tense isolation of their new home affects them differently.
Durkin's "The Nest" is a flawed, yet affecting and intelligent drama that is a tense, uneasy portrait of a family who's relocation to another country is slowly tearing them apart. It's a slow-paced film that is peppered with some compelling moments, aided by two strong performances from its leads, Coon and Law, who are doing all they can to hold their family apart. It's a slow burn of a film that you must stay with until the end; the optimistic ending seems a little off from the rest of the film, but at least you have a sense that this family may be headed in the right direction.
The lovely cinematography from acclaimed cinematographer Matyas Erdely ("Son of Saul") and handsome score from Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Perry add some dramatic texture to the film and a slight uncertainty, particularly in its act, of where this is headed. Of the cast, the underrated Coon is the standout in a rich, tender performance; I wanted to know more about Allison than Law's unlikable Rory, and it's not unwise to think that Allison, rather than Rory, is the true leader of the family.
A couple of things don't work in "The Nest," particularly in its last act, which is a teenage party at the house, as well as an extended scene when Rory goes to see his estranged mother (Anne Reid), both of which seem unnecessary to the plot. "The Nest" is a thought-provoking, compelling independent drama that may not everyone's cup of tea due to its slow pacing, and will have you wondering, is it the location that is the problem, or the people at the location? "The Nest" is worth a look and will be streaming on various platforms starting November 17th.