- The Nest is the long-awaited sophomore effort from Sean Durkin. Durkin was last seen directing Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011.
- The story here revolves around Carrie Coon’s Allison and Jude Law’s Rory O’Hara and their two children. It is set in the Reagan/Thatcher 1980’s. Plenty of room for the Thompson Twins, Heart and The Cure on the soundtrack mixed in with some nice jazzy intervals.
- Durkin uses a silent reverse zoom 3-4 times (maybe like a quarter version hold of what Pakula does) along with some brief dissolves. Neither are sustained or held enough to create any real stylistic formal rhythm unfortunately.
- Law and Coon are magnificent. Law plays a sort of desperate but charismatic salesman. He’s half Dickie Greenleaf from The Talented Mr. Ripley and half Biff Loman from Death of a Salesman. The little tour he gives of their stunning, yet cavernously hallow estate is intoxicating—and Durkin is right to put most of it in one swoon-inducing tracking shot.
- It is a slow-burn deconstruction of a relationship and family—Marriage Story, Scenes From a Marriage– though 2008’s Revolutionary Road from Sam Mendes may be the best comparison. The writing is incisive, and the highlight may be a massive fight between the two leads in their home—complete with a beautiful green lampshade against the mahogany wall.
- Cinematographer Mátyás Erdély is one to keep an eye on- he worked with László Nemes on both of his films (2015’s Son of Saul and 2018’s Sunset)
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2020. I was both impressed by the film and slightly disheartened given the long gestation period between films for Durkin. This work feels like it should be part in a series- like Baumbach or Rohmer. We’re not comparing body of works here but Rohmer fired off five films in his first ten years after his debut. I’ll go back to optimism here for the Baumbach comparison (and this entire critique is a compliment to Durkin as I’m comparing him to great auteurs and complaining about not getting enough films from him)—Baumbach only delivered three films in his first ten years—so perhaps Durkin will find it easier moving forward and we’ll have a 2020’s filled with a few films of his at least.
@Drake Interesting. I’m not as high as on Marta Marcy. But they definitely feel like work of the same filmmaker. But I agree that Durkin shows much potential. I especially loved his subtle use of 80s setting and this foreboding atmosphere that he created, frankly the whole duration of the movie I was expecting some really nasty turn of events( it kind of happened to Allison, but not in the way I was expecting). His direction felt really precise without any desire to show off. Like effective use of zooms that you mentioned.
I also, quite liked Law and Coon performances. And kids were not bad either. I also think, that Law went from a good actor who could to a really fascinating one in the 2010s, and he continues he’s streak here.
What do you think about Carrie Coon overall? She impressed me in Gone Girl. But truly floored me in the leftovers. For me, it was one of the best performances on tv hands down.
@Mad Mike. I have not seen The Leftovers. I do not catch a lot of TV unless an impressive director is behind it typically.
@Mad Like – i have seen the leftovers. It was a masterpiece of tv , according to me the best show of the decade and Coon giving arguably the best tv performance of the decade. I’m a huge fan of Damon lindelof in general but the mystery behind almost everything and every incident in that show is intriguing.
It’s a kind of show which just gave us questions and didn’t answer a single one of it.
@Mad Mike – Sorry I misspelled your name.
@M*A*S*H No problem.) Glad to find another Leftovers admirer! Yeah, they haven’t reviled a lot, but I was okay with that from the start. I was actually surprised that they gave a version for central mystery in the end.
Yeah, Lindelof is good. Although I need to rewatch and finish Lost ( haven’t watched the finale season and my memory of the previous seasons is a bit hazy now). But his Watchmen adaptation was top-notch. I think is somewhat fell apart at the end, but it was also magnificently directed and worldbulding was just outstanding(big fan of comic book).
Have you seen Watchmen? Also, I’m curious about your other best shows of the decade.
@Drake Yeah, I know. Long time lurker on your site – haha. I understand that you don’t want to invest a lot of time, but it’s not only a great show but one of the best directed.
I take it you haven’t seen Southcliff either? Also, I’m curious if you have seen films from other guys from Borderline films?
If not, I would recommend Christine (2016) from Antonio Campos and James White by Josh Mond. Both are wonderful character studies with outstanding performances from Rebecca Hall and Christopher Abbott.
@Mad Mike- I have not been able to catch Southcliff. I’d like to see it. I did catch both Christine and James White. I think both are solid- I have James White in the archives.
@Drake Oh, cool. I didn’t find them through the search and decided that you probably haven’t seen it, my bad.)
@Mad Mike – I have seen watchman, amazing show.
I’m watching Mr. Robot now directed by sam esmail, loving it.
I’m a huge admirer of corn bros so I love Fargo (anthology show) also has carried coon in season 3.
I loved mindhunter it’s majorly directed by David Fincher and Andrew Dominic.
Huge fan of Atlanta and Glover.
Sam Levinson directs almost every episode of euphoria and I love it. Zendaya is amazing.
The Americans is a contender for my best shows of all time.
Have you ever seen better writing than succession.
Bojack horseman and fleabag wow !!!
Also it’s not from last decade by one of my all time favorites “six feet under”.
What are your best shows of last decade?
@M*A*S*H Nice list. Of the ones you mentioned, I’m with you on Succession and Manhunter(hope Fincher will be able to continue it in the near future). I enjoyed Fleabag, especially in the second season, but not as much as most people.
But I’m planing at least to try other shows you mentioned.
I don’t watch as much tv the past couple of years as I used to, and I mostly watch shows that are a bit older. But from the ones I did watch:
– Hannibal was outstanding, probably THE show of the decade for my and one of my all-time favorites.
– Parks and recreation I just loved spending my time in the town of Pawnee. Brooklyn 9-9 is also very good
– Show me a hero, underrated masterpiece from David Simon (The Wire)
– Enlightened speaking about underrated terrific dramedy from HBO. Really recommend it.
Am I allowed to say Game of Thrones?)) I agree that last couple of seasons were a massive disappointment (although, I don’t think they were complete garbage. Some battle sequences were still great) But 1-4 seasons are great television and 5-6 are not that far. And for better or worse, it was the show I talked about the most in the 2010s.
Oh, man, Six Feet Under is great. I think it has one of the best finales that I’ve seen. That finale montage is transcendent moment.
@Mad Mike- I agree that fleabag or the Americans are not very cinematic shows.
Embarrassed to say I haven’t seen GOT, if something is as lengthy as GOT it becomes daunting to start.
I have heard great things about Hannibal and enlightened and they are 3 and 2 seasons respectively so I’ll watch them soon.
@M*A*S*H Yeah, I understand about Game of Thrones being daunting. Especially with a weak finale, I would also be cautious to invest my time. But I think it was worth, at least for me.) And overall, I still would rate this show in the upper echelons of HBO dramas.
Please let me know what do you think about both shows, when you start watching them
I misspelled coen bros and Carrie coon.
Breaking Bad rightfully comes up often when it comes to the best TV shows, but Better Call Saul is just as good in my opinion. I’m just constantly blown away by how cinematic it is. Bob Odenkirk is magnificent, and it is so tragic to see his character evolve from a hopeless lawyer with integrity to a flashy, hollow showman. One of the great character study TV series.
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