Action / Drama / Romance


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Bradley Cooper as Pemberton
Sean Harris as Campbell

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by estebangonzalez10 3 / 10

You took 18 months to do about 2 months work producers!

"I've think you've taken nine months to do about six months work."

It's funny that Jennifer Lawrence was given this line in a film that took over 18 months to make during post-production because for what it is, this could have been edited much better in two or three months. The narrative feels choppy and instead of focusing on the characters in this period piece they move the narrative from one act to the next without ever giving the audience anything to chew on. This is simply a flat period romance with very little chemistry that misfires on all cylinders (editing, casting, and screenplay). You can't help but feel that there is another film in here somewhere that got lost in the editing room. Serena seemed to be a film aiming for Oscar gold because it had everything going for beginning from the romantic pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper after their incredible success in Silver Linings Playbook. Add the solid Danish director, Susanne Bier (In a Better World), and a script based on Ron Rash's 2008 novel to the mix and Serena seemed to be a sure bet. I had high expectations for it and many were already including it as a contender for next year's Academy Award even before it finished being produced. How could a film like this end up being so forgettable and predictable at the same time? I'd guess the blame relies on the producers who tried to cash in on Lawrence and Cooper's success by centering the film on the romance instead of focusing on the other interesting cast members. The romance never works here because the characters are never fully developed so there is no way we can invest in their relationship. The amazing chemistry these two actors had in their previous film is completely wasted here. Everything about this film seemed disconnected and I am sure it won't live up to the aspirations the producers and critics had for Serena.

I have genuinely enjoyed all of Jennifer Lawrence's performances up to this film. The setting in the woods reminded me of the first time I saw J-Law in Winter's Bone, a film so richly invested in character development that I was expecting her to deliver another outstanding performance. That comparison to Winter's Bone only ended up disappointing me. She is extremely over the top in this film and the emotional scenes she gets are never believable. The scenes where she breaks down and cries were painful to watch. Bradley Cooper loses his charm as well, but I guess the blame relies on the script. If you are trying to deliver a strong romantic period piece you have the right actors to do so, but the script doesn't help build the romance. Bradley Cooper's character catches up to J-Law on a horse and asks her to marry him and then they are married. The entire film felt sort of chopped up and fast forwarded to the key parts of the story without taking time to give the characters any depth. About 15 minutes into the movie I knew where everything was heading and it was a huge disappointment for me because I expected a lot more from this film. The secondary cast is interesting, but unfortunately very little time is given to these characters. Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, and David Dencik are extremely talented actors and I wish the script would've given them more time. Unfortunately Christopher Kyle's script misses the mark at every turn. The only positive thing about Serena was Morten Søborg's beautiful cinematography.

Reviewed by CharlieGreenCG 4 / 10

Disappointing adaptation:

Serena has had quite a hard time so far. Filmed in 2012, it has been shelved for over a year and half due to apparent scheduling. But finally, after all that time it has come to light at this year's BFI London Film Festival for a world-premiere! But it does raise the question, is it a hidden gem that we have been long-desiring? Or is it so bad that it has was hidden on purpose? Unfortunately it appears to be the later.

Considering that is has two A-list on screen regulars; Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, the film is surprisingly dissatisfying. Set in North Carolina in the Depression era, the film accounts the perspective of George Pemberton (Cooper) and his wood-plantation empire. That is until he meets Serena (Lawrence), when he suddenly suggests 'we should be married' - and they immediately do. In fairy- tales this is expected, but in a reality period drama it is loose and leaves no belief in their relationship. As a result, throughout the events of the film we have no attachment to them at all.

Once on board with Pemberton's wood-empire, Serena does not want to just be a trophy-wife, but instead gets hands-on involved in the dirty business end and is not afraid to throw some axes.

Form there onwards the film repeats the same formula over again: Romance, wood-chopping, politics - repeat. It is a tedious cycle with the all-so often subplots appearing that have no registration to the already flimsy story.

Also featuring; Rhys Ifans (as the bearded hit-man), Toby Jones (as Sheriff McDowell) and Sean Harris (as a wood-chopper), the film shockingly concludes with a melodrama on misplacement and seems unsure of where it is going, or what genre it even is.

If there was one positive thing to be said about Serena, it would be the six sex scenes between Cooper and Lawrence. But even then, the chemistry between them is tightly bound compared to their previous on-screen duos (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle).

Directed by Academy-Award winning Susanne Bier and penned by Christopher Kyle, it is hard to find who is exactly to blame. Is it the direction of the story? Either way it is a disappointing adaptation.

Reviewed by Sir_Cellophane_Beak 1 / 10

holy mother of crap ....

It is impossible for there being spoilers for this "movie" (and I use the term very loosely). I have never, in my 50-plus years of watching films, from movie theaters, home theaters, and YouTube, seen such a terrible movie as Serena. Hell, even the old Swedish Erotica movies in the quarter arcades had some redeeming qualities, and they didn't even have sound. Serena was reminiscent of Manos - The Hands of Fate, except Manos had some entertainment value, things you could laugh at. Serena has nothing, and I mean NOTHING, entertaining in it. Amateur YouTube videos made by children and teens are professional in quality compared to Serena, which made Birdemic and The Room seem like Oscar quality movies. Here are but a few of the annoying things I noted while watching: * Birds chirping – it sounded like they placed the microphone in bird nests.

* One of the lead "actresses", who is blond, wore a white jacket outside, and every time the camera cut to her there would be a lens flare blotting out the screen (actually, this could be considered a positive thing).

* Watching obese characters running, one of which had stomach cramps and implied diarrhea.

* Sudden camera cuts to a close-up of rocks, with accompanying blares of noise.

* Repeated close-ups of an ominous stack of logs.

* The "actress", supposedly from the 1930s, speaking with a valley-girl accent.

I could go on and on, but I think I've made my point. The main reason I'm writing this is I hope to save others from being fooled as I was by some of the reviews. The high praises that I read made me very excited when I learned of the film on Myspace. Do not waste money for this piece of excrement. I know many have said this regarding other movies, but this was truly the worst movie I've ever seen. A pox on those involved with this video, and a double-pox on those who praised it.

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