The Nest Egg

By Lucy Patrick Ward | Drama
A man in a chicken suit invites people to throw eggs at him. Because he has a plan.

On one street corner in London, an old man in a chicken suit invites people to throw eggs at him for money. Soon he becomes an online video sensation, and people come out in droves to pay for eggs and toss them at him, all while he remains stoic.

Little do they know that the chicken man is named Ernie, a lonely widower trying to make his way through the tangle of grief that has immobilized him since his wife passed away. Together the couple accumulated a nice sum of money to enjoy retirement together. But now Ernie is at a loss on how to use his nest egg without his beloved, kind wife… until his world collides with a precocious and resourceful little girl trying to win an egg decorating contest so she can buy her single mom a present for her birthday.

This charming yet emotionally grounded dramedy — directed by Lucy Patrick Ward, written by Lee Sutton and produced by Martina Silcock — could sound overly twee or whimsical on paper. But through understated yet confident directing and intelligent and emphatic writing, it achieves a remarkable balance in tone that manages to be simultaneously sardonic, heart-warming and profound.

One of the film’s chief strengths is how it doesn’t shy away from the casual minor cruelties that people can inflict upon one another, whether it’s the glee that people take in hurling eggs at an old man or how little girls can so easily destroy one another’s hopes. The storytelling doesn’t lean too heavily on these small acts of aggression, but instead lays them out in a frank, matter-of-fact way. The worldview is both realistic about humankind’s self-absorption and small-mindedness, yet with a gentle, somewhat resigned acceptance for these foibles.

This astringent view of humanity is balanced by the attention paid to both Ernie and Amy, as the camera remains focused on the inner experiences and travails of its two sensitive and empathetic main characters. Balancing multiple characters can prove tricky for any film, but especially in the compressed narrative scale of the short film format. But here the storytelling has a nimble ease, brisk pacing and a judicious and economical sense of character.

It also knows when to pause and slow down, especially as we watch Ernie grapple with his still sharp sense of grief and loss. Actor Paul Copley brings these moments to life in a truly moving, grounded way, anchoring us in the very real pain he is dealing with — which makes the unfolding of his meeting with Amy all the more lovely to unravel, as two similarly yearnings, kindly souls finally encounter one another.

“The Nest Egg” sidesteps sentimentality by stopping the story just as Ernie and Amy meet, though we assume the same spirit of generosity and benevolence that animates them both will connect them together.

But the story’s real power comes from watching two genuinely good-hearted people maintain their humane spirit in the face of the world’s indifference and low-grade meanness. A man in a chicken suit having eggs thrown at him seems silly and foolhardy at first, but in the end, it is a powerful metaphor for the courage and endurance it takes to face life’s difficulties and keep standing aloft with moral principles intact — with a little help, support and recognition by like-minded souls.




You Might Also Like:

Discipline

By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
An angry father slaps his unruly daughter. Then a bystander threatens to report him.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

Bless Me Father

By Paul M. Horan | Drama
A priest has a moral dilemma when a man confesses a secret that affects his life.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Stealing Silver ft. Maisie Williams

By Mark Lobatto | Drama
A woman uncovers the truth about the man living across from her.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Don’t Be a Hero (Sundance)

By Pete Lee | Drama
A woman robs banks as a cowboy on her lunch break.

Lost & Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Edmund the Magnificent ft. David Bradley & Ian McKellen

By Ben Ockrent | Comedy
A farmer invests his savings in a piglet.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.