Taglines: Some loves can never let you go.
George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) is trying to build a timber empire in North Carolina in 1929. While in the Northeast he meets a captivating woman named Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) and marries her. Together, the newly married couple return to North Carolina and pursue the venture together, Serena being the ever proficient business partner. Their saga and dramatics for success is the basis of the narrative within this film.
Anyone who has read the novel Serena by Ron Rash should be deeply disappointed by the film adaptation by screenwriter Christopher Kyle and director Susanne Bier. I’m disappointed and all I did was read the summary of the novel after watching the film, and all I can say is “woof, Cliffnotes, eat your heart out.” Serena is a tragedy of editing, direction, screen writing, and acting all with a pretty paint job to delude viewers into thinking the drama is adequate.
With so much wrong in the film it is hard to differentiate whose shoulders must bear the brunt of the blame. Surely the starting point for the film is the script, and Kyle’s is devoid of suspense, tension and drama. The dialogue does nothing to progress the plot in a feasible manner so director Susanne Bier must, like a magician, attempt to cultivate it from thin air. Not to say her attempt is admirable either, the gritty drama about greed set in the dense forest of North Carolina has no mood, no vision and is plainly shot with a vividity that exacerbates Serena’s lifelessness.
Serena is an American-French drama film based upon the 2008 novel of the same name by American author Ron Rash. Directed by Susanne Bier, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as newlyweds running a timber business in 1930s North Carolina.
Directed by: Susanne Bier
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Ana Ularu, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, Sean Harris Blake Ritson, David Dencik, Michael Ryan
Screenplay by: Christopher Kyle
Production Design by: Richard Bridgland
Cinematography by: Morten Søborg
Film Editing by: Pernille Bech Christensen, Matthew Newman, Simon Webb
Costume Design by: Signe Sejlund
Set Decoration by: Graeme Purdy
Music by: Johan Söderqvist
MPAA Rating: R for some violence and sexuality.
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: March 27, 2015