Serena (2014)

Serena (2014)
  • Time: 109 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Susanne Bier
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans


North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s – George and Serena Pemberton, love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton’s passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

2 reviews

  • One of the more arresting images in the handsomely mounted Serena arrives an hour into the film. Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence) is in the process of losing her baby, and her husband George (Bradley Cooper) is giving blood to replenish her hemorrhaged supply. They lie side by side, connected by tubes, bound by blood, destinies twined. It’s a grand and symbolic image, informed by what’s taken place before it, yet more effective when taken out of context.

    Serena is a peculiar film, famously on the shelf since 2012 (Lawrence and Cooper worked on the film between Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle). Many of its components prevent it from being a bad film, but those same components don’t add up to a very good one either. There’s a relentless weight to this film, akin to a boot’s heel grinding into your neck or your entire body being pulled into quicksand. It flickers when it should rage, and remains steadfast when it should go off the rails. At no point is it believable or fully invested in the act of making sense.

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  • There is a lot of negativity written and spoken about this film but actually it is not anywhere as bad as people are saying. I found the film entirely engrossing and it is definitely worth a watch!

    The story tries to focus on a seldom exposed setting of the time frame and place combination. There are quite many movies about the depression era, but most of them are movies about mobsters, bootleggers, or at least there is a significant crime and violence portion within them. There are also movies about mountainous country sides and or the logging and timber companies or industries, but none of them takes the specific depression era time setting.

    Nevertheless, I think that the story’s interesting starting point doesn’t really give any warranty that developed story lives up to it. Although the first few minutes of the movie is nicely unpredictable, especially on how the main characters meet and marry, but the rest of the rest becomes very much so right after. There is also the serious lack of character development on all of the characters. This makes it difficult for the viewers to reason why the characters do what they did especially later in the movie. Thus the ending will prove so very strange…

    This movie reunites Bradley Cooper and Jenifer Lawrence from their last Oscar-winning movie of Silver Linings Playbook (2012). We can still see that the chemistry built on that movie, and also their professionalism makes the acting here quite a nice work. Their acting here did the story justice very nicely. If there’s anything missing from this movie, I think that the story and direction as the parts that need improvement. The acting overall gets even better with the other casts like Rhys Ivans and Toby Jones giving the needed complexity to the story.

    Overall, “Serena” gets a 6,5 out of 10 score.

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