September 10, 2020

CINEMA | Jude Law and Carrie Coon Seduce 'The Nest'

"He was exactly the right blend of old British and new American."
Jude Law Carrie Coon Sean Durkin | The Nest
IFC Films / Elevation Pictures
Martha Marcy May Marlene writer/director Sean Durkin's sophomore feature, the seductive mid-'80s domestic marital drama The Nest, is a sleekly composed examination of wealth. Starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon as a married couple with kids, the slowly-unraveling chamber piece has a sizzling iciness to its intimate material of living large without the means to.

Full of period intrigue, The Nest ostensibly revolves around Law's scheming Rory moving his American family back to his native England into a giant old country manor they cannot afford so he can follow his sketchy ambitions to seek fortune as some sort of high finance broker. There's a decidedly "fake it till you make it" sense to the story's exploration of chasing wealth while also filled with marital resentment from entrenched gender roles of the time.

Law and Coon, alongside Charlie Shotwell and Oona Roche as their adolescent dependants, give fine, restrained performances of building dramatic tension set to composer Richard Reed Parry's eerily moody score. However, there are so many competing subplots and side stories about failed mergers, sick horses, or school bullying that Durkin has to juggle all these character interactions while trying to give each one enough interiority to their motivations.

The Nest gives off a sterling sense of sophistication to Durkin's film while evolving its underlying hollowness of American-style eighties excess through a classically British sheen of stodginess. We follow its obsessions of appearances and style beyond any real substance into full disillusionment. Perhaps it does too fine a job of being purely surface without enough depth to it. Then again, I could probably watch Law and Coon fight about money in period-'80s style all day long.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire

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