A twisty-turny story of greed and family set in 1986, “The Nest,” now playing in theatres, sees stars Jude Law and Carrie Coon as a happy, well off couple who define the old saying that looks can be deceiving.
Law is Rory, a charming commodities broker whose ambition often outstrips his ability. When we first meet Rory, his wife Allison and two kids, Benjamin (Charlie Shotwell) and Samantha (Oona Roche), they’re living the high life in New York, but running short on cash. When Rory is offered his old job in his native London, England, he sees it as the chance to make some big bank. He uproots the family, moves then to a huge manor house outside of London and turns on the money taps. He spends lavishly, against the promise of a big windfall, buying fur coats, building a horse stable for Allison and enrolling his kids in tony, private schools. Trouble is, the promised windfall never arrives and as Rory bleeds money, cracks form in his carefully curated life.
“The Nest” is a slow burn of a movie that dances to its own beat. The small details that chip away at Rory and Allison’s relationship are revealed slowly as the rot sets in. It’s a study of greed and privilege as a cancer that clouds Rory’s ability to truly define what is important in his life.
Law is perfectly cast. His natural movie star charisma and charm shines through until the symbols of the wealth he craves become a weight around his neck, removing whatever goodwill we may have had for the character. Equally as strong is Coon, whose breakdown is played out in more measured tones until she loses it in a crescendo of bitterness and anger. The story allows them to the room to fully investigate why and how Rory and Allison behave as they do but director Sean Durkin, whose “Martha Marcy May Marlene” was an arthouse hit in 2011, never completely gives away the game.
“The Nest” features textured storytelling and an open-ended finale that will likely inspire heated post viewing conversation.