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Brothers' Nest (Clayton Jacobson, 2018) wr. Jaime Browne, Chris Pahlow, dp Peter Falk; Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Kim Gyngell, Lynette Curran, Sarah Snook; black comedy; released 10May18
Synopsis: On a cold morning in the middle of country Victoria, two brothers arrive at the family home intent on murdering their step-father Roger. Terry and Jeff’s motive is simple, killing their step-dad will render their dying Mother’s plan to change her will in his favour, redundant. A staged ‘suicide’ has been meticulously planned but there is one thing the boys didn’t take into account, spending an entire day together. Old grudges, different worldviews and a general troubled history will pit these two brothers against each other.
I’m a sucker for a good single-setting piece about people doing something amoral very, very poorly and “Brothers’ Nest” fits that bill nicely. It’s a taut little genre exercise anchored by the director and his actual brother Shane in the lead roles. As it starts to get clearer that the brothers have different, shall we say, levels of commitment as to what they’re about to do, “Brothers’ Nest” becomes a smart slow-burn movie in that we know everything isn’t going to go as planned—there’s not a story if it does—and so we are stuck in this home with them, waiting for the fireworks to go off. And they truly do. This is a smart flick that should find a satisfied audience if a studio is smart enough to get it a release. Brian Tallerico.
The most immediate comparison this film is going to get is to the early work of the Coen Brothers. It’s not just the familial motif either, with Clayton Jacobson working hard to imbue the film with a moody tension that recalls Blood Simple. Peter Falk’s lensing is a slate blue affair, ensuring the audience feels the frost of a Victorian morning. ...
Brothers' Nest is a film that doesn’t stray too far from the genre favourites that influenced it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The final few scenes are telegraphed from the beginning, a little indulgent flourish that doesn’t undermine the end so much as put it in familiar company. Regardless, this is a sophisticated direction for both of the Jacobson boys, and certainly a path down which we would love to see them take more often. Richard Gray.
Garry Gillard | New: 15 August, 2018 | Now: 24 January, 2020