The Nest Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: interesting drama; acting performances by Carrie Coon and Jude Law; aesthetics of camera work; 80s atmosphere without modern exaggeration Cons: slow dive into the essence of the film “The Nest”.

Drama genre
Directed by Sean Durkin
Cast: Jude Law (Rory O’Hara), Carrie Coon (Allison O’Hara), Charlie Shotwell (Benjamin O’Hara), Una Roche (Samantha O’Hara), Tanya Allen (Margie), Adeel Akhtar (Steve), Anne Reid (Rory’s mother), Michael Culkin (Arthur Davis), Wendy Crewson (Allison’s mother), etc.
Studios: BBC Films, Element Pictures, FilmNation Entertainment
Year of release 2020
IMDb website

The film takes place in the 1980s. Briton Rory (Jude Law) lives with his wife (Carrie Coon) and children in the USA. Something is gnawing at Rory, and he convinces his loved ones to move to London – there he was offered a well-paid job with great opportunities. In England, a family moves into an old mansion, surrounding themselves with wealth. In this giant, half-empty house, tension arises between them, and Rory’s public boasting slowly reveals the true state of affairs.

Not only the appropriate surroundings indicate the 80s in the film. In the film, references to President Reagan are heard, and in business conversations, the main character admires the American mindset and the belief that everyone can achieve heights. The radio plays songs by Thompson Twins and The Cure, evoking the melancholy mood inherent in Britain. It seems that Rory, although he is returning to his homeland, is trying in every possible way to embody the ideal of a foreign country.

The drama was directed and written by Sean Durkin, who made his debut eight years ago with Martha Marcy May Marlene, a disturbing story about a girl who escaped from a cult. In his second film, the director retained a leisurely manner of revealing the plot, in which he prefers to choose long shots and sometimes silent scenes that bring the viewer closer to the difficult moral state of the central characters.


At first, “The Nest” may inspire boredom with the daily activities of the heroes, but thanks to cinematographer Matthias Erdei (who worked on the Oscar-winning film Son of Saul), visual and then plot interest appears in what is happening. The film cannot be called a thriller, but there are moments in it that create an atmosphere of uneasy understatement. One scene is especially memorable in which the camera, through a window, follows the silent dialogue of Jude Law’s character, gradually moving away from him. Essentially, what he is thinking remains unspoken for some time, both to the viewer and to his family.

Jude Law himself fits harmoniously into the role of an ambitious businessman betting on self-presentation. Gradually, taking a closer look at what lies behind his conversations, attention is drawn to the adventurousness that Lowe portrays with due passion. But, to be honest, the best acting performance in the film is not from him, but from Carrie Coon.

American actress Carrie Coon appeared in the film Gone Girl, played one of the main roles in the third season of the TV series Fargo, and was almost unrecognizable in the image of Proxima Midnight, a blue-haired supporter of Thanos in the film Avengers: Infinity War. (Avengers: Infinity War). In the film “The Nest,” Kuhn shows an excellent dramatic performance, splashing out the emotions that have been accumulating inside her heroine for a long time. In moments close to breakdown, the camera does not leave the actress’s face, and Carrie’s character is literally unable to control the nervous twitching of her muscles.


There are no clearly negative characters or shocking discoveries in this film; the interest here is completely different – in how family relationships turn into family battles, provoked by the illusion of quick and dizzying success. Similar dramas about the growing tension between spouses have been filmed before, but Sean Durkin added to his film the aesthetics of frame construction, decent actors and an old, half-empty location that emphasized the overall tension. In addition, he naturally reproduced the atmosphere of the 80s, without turning the attributes of that time into a cult, as many modern directors do.

This is how it turned out, at first glance, boring, but actually worth attention, a story about chasing a dream that you can’t live up to.


The film “The Nest” is a psychological drama in which the pursuit of a dream turns family relationships into mutual hostility.

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