The Nest

By Joanna Langfield

There’s quite a bit to admire in this film about the intimacies of excess. I just wish I had actually liked it more.

Jude Law and Carrie Coon star as a married couple caught up in the societal sweep of financial success that defined the 1980’s. When Law admits he needs to move their family back to England, to capitalize on a great new deal he can’t pull off in the United States, Coon packs up, as she has done several times before, believing. They are, after all, a happy family. But are they?

Both Law and Coon give terrific performances in writer director Sean Durkin’s slim and often potent morality lesson. Law, resuscitating the desperate charm he’s used to great effect before, is even more compelling here, as a man with a lot on the line, giving it what may be one last shot. He wants the grand manse, he wants his horse-crazy wife to be happy, he wants the kids to go to the best schools he was never lucky enough to attend. And he knows he can pull it all off. Or at least he talks himself into thinking he can. Carrie Coon, on the other hand, gets what’s happening more quickly. But not quickly enough. Hers is a woman who allows herself to pretend their nest is paid for, with enough so that she doesn’t have to lift a finger, unless it is to tend to the horses and children she really does, after all, love.

And I loved watching these two excellent actors do their thing. Supporting performances are also top notch. While I appreciated the flashback to the 80’s mantra of more more more, and certainly hope lessons are learned here, I also grew weary of the bleak cinematography, the weird attempt at horror and the overused trope of having a desperate woman dance interpretively in public, tossing her hair as if to throw away her sins. That scene I never have to see again, no matter how well performed.