The Nest (2020 film)

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The Nest
The Nest poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySean Durkin
Produced by
Screenplay bySean Durkin
Music byRichard Reed Parry[1]
CinematographyMátyás Erdély
Edited byMatthew Hannam
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 26, 2020 (2020-01-26) (Sundance)
  • September 18, 2020 (2020-09-18) (United States and Canada)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
Box office$1.017 million[3]

The Nest is a 2020 psychological thriller film[4][5] written, directed, and produced by Sean Durkin. It stars Jude Law, Carrie Coon, Charlie Shotwell, Oona Roche, and Adeel Akhtar. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2020, and was released in the United States and Canada on September 18, 2020, by IFC Films and Elevation Pictures respectively.


In the 1980s, Englishman Rory O'Hara and his American wife, Allison, live a middle-class life in New York City with their children Ben and Sam. Allison teaches horseback riding, while Rory is a trader. Believing his opportunities in the U.S. are limited, Rory convinces Allison to relocate with him to England, where he plans to return to the firm of his former employer Arthur Davis. Despite Allison's initial misgivings, the family moves into a huge old mansion in Surrey. Rory convinces Allison she can start her own horse farm on the property, buying a horse named Richmond for her. Construction begins on a stable while Sam and Ben are enrolled in expensive private schools. Rory takes Allison to high-class dinner parties with Arthur and his colleagues. However, the family has some difficulty adjusting, as their secluded location and respective commutes make it difficult for the children to get to school on time.

Several weeks later, construction abruptly stops on the stable. Learning that Rory never paid the builders, Allison discovers that his bank account is nearly empty. Rory promises he will have money soon, but Allison is forced to provide for the family by cutting into her hidden cash fund. Allison bristles at Rory's efforts to appear high-class while they remain nearly broke. At the office, Rory proposes that Arthur sell his company to a larger American firm looking for a London office. After brief consideration, Arthur refuses. At the house, Richmond collapses in pain and Allison is forced to go to a neighboring farmer, who puts the horse down. Rather than go home following Arthur's rejection, Rory travels elsewhere in England to visit his mother, telling her about his family. She shows no interest in them and accuses Rory of abandoning her. Rory returns home late and gets into an explosive argument with Allison over their financial woes and Rory's reckless, delusional behavior.

In order to provide income to the household, Allison begins working as a farmhand for the farmer. Sam makes some disreputable friends from the area, while Ben gets into a fight with some bullies. Rory and his colleague Steve arrange a potentially lucrative deal with a Norwegian fish-farming corporation. Rory and Allison attend a dinner with Steve and their prospective clients, while Sam and her friends throw a party back at the house. As the party gets out of control, Ben flees outside and witnesses Richmond's carcass being pushed to the surface of the grave due to improper burial. At the dinner, Allison openly mocks Rory before leaving the restaurant, taking the car and getting drunk at a nightclub. Rory attempts to downplay Allison's behavior to the clients, but they opt to go into business with Steve while cutting Rory out. Rory tries to take a taxi back to Surrey and confesses his many indiscretions to the taxi driver, claiming his job is "pretending to be rich". With Rory's confessions making it clear that he is both broke and a liar, the driver anticipates that he will be unable to pay for the long fare and leaves him in the middle of nowhere.

The next morning, Allison wakes up hungover in her parked car and drives home, finding the house trashed after the party. Ben shows her Richmond's grave, where the carcass has risen almost completely to the surface. As Allison breaks down over the grave, Sam and Ben agree to make breakfast. Rory finishes the long walk home and finds his family seated at the table. He starts proposing another relocation, but Allison simply tells him to stop. Sam hugs a crying Rory, then prepares a seat for him.



The project was announced in April 2018, with Jude Law and Carrie Coon set to star for writer and director Sean Durkin.[6] Filming began in September 2018 in Canada for one week before moving to England.[7][8]


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2020.[9] Shortly after, IFC Films acquired distribution rights to the film.[10] It was released on September 18, 2020.[11]

Awards and reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 131 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "An effective pairing of period setting and timeless themes, The Nest wrings additional tension out of its unsettling story with an outstanding pair of lead performances."[12] On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

The Nest was screened at the 2020 Deauville American Film Festival where it won the Grand Special Prize, the International Critics' prize and the Revelation Prize.[14]

The film was named to the Toronto International Film Festival's year-end Canada's Top Ten list for feature films.[15]


  1. ^ "Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry Scoring Sean Durkin's 'The Nest'". Filmmusicreporter. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Nest". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "The Nest (UK)". The Numbers. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  4. ^ "'The Nest': Film Review". Variety. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  5. ^ "'The Nest' Review: Carrie Coon and Jude Law Sizzle in Sean Durkin's Icy Indictment of Wealth". IndieWire. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (26 April 2018). "Jude Law, Carrie Coon to Star in Sean Durkin's 'The Nest' for FilmNation, BBC Films (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Jude Law, Carrie Coon to Star in Sean Durkin's 'The Nest'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Jude Law begins filming The Nest". Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 4, 2019). "Sundance Unveils Female-Powered Lineup Featuring Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem, Abortion Road Trip Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  10. ^ Lang, Brent (March 12, 2020). "IFC Films Buys Jude Law, Carrie Coon Drama 'The Nest' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  11. ^ Lang, Brent (May 14, 2020). "Jude Law Drama 'The Nest' Debuting Theatrically in September (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  12. ^ "The Nest (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "The Nest Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  14. ^ "Deauville film festival: Jude Law drama 'The Nest' wins top prize". France 24. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  15. ^ Victoria Ahearn, "Toronto International Film Festival releases Top Ten lists for 2020". Squamish Chief, December 9, 2020.

External links[edit]