A review of THE NEST starring Carrie Coon and Jude Law. Written and directed by Sean Durkin.
Rory (Jude Law), an ambitious entrepreneur and former commodities broker, persuades his American wife, Allison (Carrie Coon), and their children to leave the comforts of suburban America and return to his native England during the 1980s. Sensing opportunity, Rory rejoins his former firm and leases a centuries-old country manor, with grounds for Allison’s horses and plans to build a stable. Soon the promise of a lucrative new beginning starts to unravel, the couple have to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.
Written and Directed By
Carrie Coon, Jude Law, Charlie Shotwell, Oona Roche, Adeel Akhtar, Wendy Crewson, Anne Reid and Michael Culkin
Growing up between America and England in the 80’s and 90’s, I experienced a stark difference in atmosphere between the two places that has long stayed with me. I always felt the contrast would provide a haunting tonal shift in a film and this backdrop sparked the conception of THE NEST. Within this setting I wanted reflect on personal experience to create an unsettling, naturalistic family drama that explores how a move across the Atlantic uproots the dormant truths that lie beneath this family’s dynamic.
Within the family, my priority was to explore a marriage in a truthful way. Rory and Allison are a complex couple, deeply in love and attracted to each other, they have a seemingly equal partnership that is slowly unmasked as a co-created myth. Their individual dualities make them both perfect partners and polar opposites. They are respectively plagued by aspirational values of the society around them, and the duty handed down to them by previous generations.
I set the film in 1986 to explore the link between America and the UK. Pre-financial crash, the emerging global market, and London at the height of deregulation. I wanted to intrinsically link the celebrated values of the time, such as risk and ambition, to the issues at the core of the family’s conflict. It was an era of capitalist opportunism that promised plenty, and Rory sees it as a way to have the life they always dreamed of. But the move to England quickly erodes the equality that Rory and Allison have in America, and Allison’s identity is subsumed by being his wife. They slip into traditional gender roles, propping each other up in co-dependency. As he tries to face his past she becomes the silent enabler, succumbing to his mythomania, all at the cost of her family’s wellbeing.
THE NEST explores themes of masculinity, gender roles, family structure, and the American dream by examining a family at a very specific time and place that is both a unique moment in history and one that reflects today [IFC Films].