5/10 Much like my last review for “Possessor”, this movie similarly comes from a filmmaker who is both a writer/director and had a gigantic gap between his debut film and this follow up. Whereas “Possessor” came eight years after “Antiviral”, here we have “The Nest” arriving nine years after writer/director Sean Durkin’s debut film, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”. He did direct four episodes of a 2013 mini-series but regardless, it has been a long time. Which makes it all the more disappointing that after a nine year theatrical waiting period, we have this mediocre movie following his excellent 2011 debut. Like Durkin’s freshman effort, the cast is delivering some phenomenal work. Jude Law slips into his role so well that you forget you are watching Jude Law playing a character. Carrie Coon gives the best performance I have ever seen her give after years of delivering great work but for minor characters. Yet Durkin has rightly entrusted her with a co-leading role that she is more than capable of handling. The film is well shot so it looks pleasing to the eye and has an appropriately muted color palette. The cast, cinematography and some fantastic dialogue however, are not enough to save this movie. The problem with “The Nest” is that the plot is paper thin and the characters are all so unlikable that we have no one to root for with a movie that doesn’t really end up going anywhere exciting or interesting. We essentially have a marriage falling apart as Jude Law’s character blows through the family’s money yet is obsessed with maintaining a high class life style that he feels entitled to due to growing up poor. Carrie Coon’s character is extremely dishonest with her children and most people around her as she always exclaims that she’s doing fine when in reality she is never fine; always barely clinging to existence. The children have problems of their own but their parents are too caught up in their own infighting to really help the kids out. Despite moving from America to the UK, the movie is just a family coming apart at the seams for just under two hours and the few events that punctuate the movie don’t have much of an impact on the overall plot. I kept waiting for something big to happen, for a character to reach a breaking point and do something really drastic or to be shocked by a plot point. Yet nothing ever happened. A couple moments introduce what I thought was to be a supernatural element which would have been exciting but then nothing ever came about and if there was an element of paranormal activity, it was quickly abandoned. “Martha Marcy May Marlene” was a slow burn but had a few moments that were unexpected, startling and thrilling. “The Nest” gives us the same slow burn pacing but without those moments to keep us entertained. A few great aspects like the acting aside, you might need to leave the theater like you would leave the nest.
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