Brothers’ Nest (2018)

Brothers’ Nest
Director: Clayton Jacobson
Writer: Jaime Browne, Chris Pahlow
Cast: Shane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson, Kim Gyngell, Lynette Curran, Sarah Snook
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2018

Brothers Terry (Shane Jacobson) and Jeff (Clayton Jacobson) have it all planned. To be fair, Jeff has done the lion’s share in planning, but Terry is there and they are ready to set their plan into motion. They start to meticulously prepare for a murder, but working with family is never easy.

Brothers’ Nest is a tense film with good characters that I absolutely enjoyed. It’s fantastically entertaining and both funny and sad at the same time. It was a wonderful discovery and may have been one of my favorites of the /slash Filmfestival this year.

The film poster shwoing two men pushing bicycles.

Brothers’ Nest kept me glued to the screen, waiting with tension for the next thing to happen. And it managed this despite the fact that it doesn’t really tell a surprising story. Instead it’s a textbook example for “good predictability”: that things don’t come as a surprise here is not due to shoddy storytelling that overly relies on tropes that we have seen a million times before. Instead it is predictable because every turn it takes is firmly rooted in its characters and their choices. And since the characterization of Terry and Jeff is clear, we know what choices they will make in the end. Plus, it’s not meant to surprise, so that’s always a plus.

I’m sure it helped that Shane and Clayton Jacobson are actual brothers and play brothers, although I don’t know, of course, how much their characters resemble them in real life or not. But their chemistry and relationship translates well to the screen and further grounds the film that is, pretty much, a chamber play.

Clayton and Shane Jacobson in the film.

The film has a strong sense of humor but tells a pretty tragic story. The balance between those things isn’t easy, but it works very well here, both moods strengthening each other instead of being at odds as they may well be.

In short, I was very impressed by the film that makes so much out of a small budget, cast and setting. I hope the Jacobsons make many more films like it. I’d certainly watch.

Shane and Clayton Jacobson in the film.

Summarizing: Really good.

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