5 items from 2015
Written for the screen by Christopher Kyle
Directed by Susanne Bier
USA/France/Czech Republic, 2014
Based on a bestselling novel by Ron Rash, Serena, as brought to the screen by director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Christopher Kyle, feels like a husk of an adaptation even to one completely unfamiliar with the source material. It’s the sort of film that, at least in the form prepped for theatrical release, makes one inclined to believe its makers have completely lost the ability to tell a story. And it’s not like that ever seems like a deliberate stylistic choice, with Bier actually focusing on some thematic flourish off on the sidelines. Serena is always focused on its plot. Its perpetually rushed, choppily told, borderline confusing plot.
Part of the trouble in the telling is that the film’s a tonal mess. In her native Denmark, and with American cinema forays »
- Josh Slater-Williams
The companies declined to comment.
Neal Street, part-owned by the “Spectre” and “Skyfall” director, put itself up for sale in November for about £40 million ($63.8 million). The company was founded in 2003 by Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling.
Its film credits include Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Revolutionary Road” and Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Jarhead,” which were both directed by Mendes, and Susanne Bier’s “Things We Lost in the Fire.” Neal Street is also developing an adaptation of Enid Blyton’s “Magic Faraway Tree” books.
Neal Street’s TV credits include John Logan’s “Penny Dreadful,” which was commissioned by Showtime; “Call the Midwife” for the BBC; and “The Hollow Crown,” which is a series of Shakespeare adaptations for the BBC and Wnet. Stage shows include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Shrek. »
- Dave McNary
Place Beyond the Pines: Bier’s Ungainly Period Piece Revels in Unintentional Gaffs
Danish director Susanna Bier’s second English language film, Serena, has gained a bit of notoriety after an unexpected delayed theatrical release in the Us. A melodramatically inclined period piece based on a novel by Ron Rash (author of The World Made Straight, of which an adaptation was released earlier this year), the lush production design and starry cast creates a misleading veneer, which slowly gives way to a rather kooky portrait of its eponymous lead character. Presented with soberingly grim determination, the film lapses into unintentionally laughable territory, though not to a degree worthy of camp aesthetic or cult following.
Filming shortly after their award winning collaboration on 2012’s The Silver Linings Playbook, the first onscreen reunion of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper finally saw a premiere at the 2014 London Film Festival and reactions have been »
- Nicholas Bell
Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier isn’t without her misfires, especially when it comes to her American films. The Things We Lost in the Fire is a dry drama saved by Benicio del Toro’s performance, but when it comes to her latest American picture, Serena, it’s an impossible mission for her two stars to make this long-in-development adaptation anything more than a stiff, awkward, […] »
- Jack Giroux
Donning the cape and tights to play a big screen superhero was often seen as career suicide for actors. This idea is mined to brilliant effect in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, with a former comic book star looking to relaunch his career with an ambitious Broadway play.
Adding extra spice to Birdman is the casting of Michael Keaton, himself a former Batman whose post-tights career has been somewhat hit and miss. This film, however, is a stunning reminder of just how good an actor Keaton is and proof that careers don't end when on-screen superpowers fade away.
Digital Spy takes a look at 20 ex-superhero stars to see how they fared after leaving an iconic comic book role behind.
20. Billy Zane
5 items from 2015
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