The Nest movie poster
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The Nest
The Nest movie poster

The Nest Movie Review

After his sizzling feature-length debut, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Sean Durkin is back—nine years later—with The Nest, a quieter, nuanced drama about a marriage at its breaking point. Compelling at times, overtly understated in others, The Nest is a fine follow up, though the addition of a sex cult to the story would have spiced things up considerably.

Just saying.

Jude Law stars as Rory O’Hara, an English businessman who moves his American wife and children to the English countryside after being invited back by his former firm. Despite her life being upended, wife Allison, played by Carrie Coon, relents. Of course, as she soon learns, her husband wasn’t invited back but asked to return, setting into motion a deep examination of their relationship and financial dynamic.

Both Law and Coon are terrific, though it’s Coon who really takes the reins and navigates this ever-ominous drama, which Durkin also wrote. The Nest thrives on the little moments, and Durkin, as he did with MMMM, expertly stacks those little moments, laying the foundation for something powerful and potentially explosive.

The fact that The Nest never actually achieves something more powerful or explosive is arguably beside the point, as the journey is almost worth it, but when all is said and done, as the characters sit and attempt to pick up the pieces, The Nest doesn’t quite mount to the the level of riveting marriage drama you’d have hoped or expected. It’s a well made movie with actors giving it their all, but sometimes that’s not enough.

I hope Durkin doesn’t take nine more years before his next story, as he clearly has talent in exploring the cracks and deep crevices of peoples’ lives. But where such exploration worked for MMMM, fueled by cult psychosis and criminal acts, The Nest doesn’t entirely have the same core to revolve around. As a result it squarely falls into the “that was interesting while watching” category, which doesn’t speak much to its staying power.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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