May 25, 2024

THE NEST (2020) – Pieces of a seemingly perfect family

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Nest is a powerful family drama about a young family coming to terms with a twist of event that turns their comfortable lives upside down. Jude Law plays Rory, an ambitious entrepreneur who sets his sight on success with a career move from America to London. The family of four is introduced as one happy family when they were in the States. But their move to London soon unravels all sorts of circumstances beyond their expectations. The story is set in the 1980’s during the turbulent financial recession that hit the world.

Jude Law is as always excellent in his portrayal of an overly ambitious young man gambling with his chances for higher success. He is well matched by Carrie Coon as his wife. When the family moves to their glorious and huge mansion in England, we sense a familiarity on the situation. It felt like the trappings of a haunted mansion story or the inevitable tale of lust and infidelity that would ruin the family. But The Nest stirs clear from such clichés and instead focuses on the individual’s human weaknesses as the source of their downfall. For example, Rory’s inclination to boast and spend beyond his means, and his wife’s inability to provide the moral support to her husband, as well as neglect to the children’s needs.

The pace may be slow but the powerful performances and tight direction by Sean Durkin keeps things real and the viewers engaged enough to stay around and see how everything eventually turns out. Ultimately it provides a stark realistic study of a family where every member experiences a breakdown of sorts. I like that the story does not paint its characters as black and white but allows each one to have his or her own weaknesses and strength. Just like life itself, things are never that straight forward. You cannot really despise Rory for what he had done because ultimately he has his family’s welfare and happiness at heart. Things just didn’t work out the way he expected. The Nest’s ending may not provide the closure that viewers were expecting but it is realistic and open-ended enough to allow us to imagine what transpires beyond the end credits. Happy ending or sad ending … you decide.

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