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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

The Nest

by director/co-writer Sean Durkin

Right now, going to the cinema is what I miss most. It is where I go to recharge, be inspired, dream and escape. I miss being in a dark theatre, phone off, leaving the day behind to get lost in the world unfolding before me. And as a filmmaker, it is where I long to share my work with an audience.

When I set out to make a film I strive to capture something truthful in a specific place and time. I want to create an atmosphere and a cinematic experience that stays with the viewer long after they see it. With The Nest, I set out to create a real family drama, one that portrays the uncomfortable particularities of a family dynamic. It took several years to write the script and as time went on it accompanied me through many major life changes. The journey of making the film became an exploration of childhood, marriage, being a parent, ambition, gender roles, masculinity, and ultimately the examination of a family on the brink.

At the core of the family is Rory (Jude Law) and Allison (Carrie Coon). They are a complex couple, deeply in love and attracted to each other but they are each plagued by duality and have to battle themselves and each other to find a new balance after a major life move across the Atlantic. They lose themselves in the aspirational values of the society around them and the duty handed down by previous generations. As a result they don’t always know what is best for them or their children as they navigate their boom and bust lifestyle. At times Rory and Allison are perfect lovers, partners in crime, and at other times polar opposites locked in battle. Jude and Carrie found a way to capture this nuance with power, humor and heart. The collaboration is something I’m greatly proud of and am excited to share with audiences.

I set the film in 1986 to explore a specific moment in time that foreshadows today's world. With the the emerging global markets and London prospering at the height of deregulation, I wanted to intrinsically link the celebrated values such as risk and ambition to the issues at the core of the family’s conflict. It was an era of capitalist opportunism that promised plenty and Rory sees it as a way to have the life he always dreamed of. But the move to England exposes the myth of equality that he and Allison have in America and as the family unravels, the couple has to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.

I long to return to the cinema and hope as many people as possible can see The Nest safely in theaters. But whether you see it in a cinema or at home, more importantly, I hope the film takes you on a truthful cinematic journey into the life of this family, and stays with you long after watching.

Posted September 16, 2020

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