Director: Susanne Bier
Talent: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones
Release Date: 24th October 2014
Annexed by the Great Depression, North Carolina is met with another great adversity: the arrival of newlywed couple George (Bradley Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence). Resplendent in 1920s glamour, the Pembertons return from Boston to George’s hometown offering not just token glances of faraway opulence, but the fortification of a new frontier with their logging company.
Cast into maddening despair when forced to face up to her human shortcomings, Lawrence’s Serena oscillates between acutely credible and curiously empty too often, while Cooper remains steady and disconnected throughout. Unfortunately, Serena delivers a film negative of what it attempts to encapsulate — the finished product is far more monotonous and insubstantial than what might be expected from its cast and director. Sumptuous cinematography aside, it’s no surprise that this A-list turkey was in post-production for so long.
Words: Aoife Ryan