MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 30 this week

Serena (I) (2014)

R  |   |  Drama  |  26 February 2015 (USA)
5.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 10,372 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 53 user | 125 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the book by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
list image
a list of 38 titles
created 12 May 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 21 Oct 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Serena" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Serena (2014)

Serena (2014) on IMDb 5.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Serena.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Kathryn Vale (Lena Olin) is a reclusive ex-movie star with a dark secret and a daughter hoping to follow in her mother's movie-star footsteps. When Kathryn attempts to make a career ... See full summary »

Director: James Oakley
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Lena Olin, Dean Winters
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A dramatization of Lori Petty's teenage years spent in small town Iowa.

Director: Lori Petty
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javon Johnson, Sophi Bairley
Winter's Bone (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.

Director: Debra Granik
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt
Cake II (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Claire becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group while grappling with her own, very raw personal tragedy.

Director: Daniel Barnz
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
The Riot Club (2014)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.

Director: Lone Scherfig
Stars: Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After moving with her mother to a small town, a teenager finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. Things get more complicated when she befriends a boy who was the only survivor of the accident.

Director: Mark Tonderai
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot
Unbroken I (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Miyavi, Domhnall Gleeson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman, born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After many solitary years, she meets a man who complicates the eternal life she has settled into.

Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Stars: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford
The Gambler III (2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Lit professor and gambler Jim Bennett's debt causes him to borrow money from his mother and a loan shark. Further complicating his situation is his relationship with one of his students. Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman
Joy I (2015)
Biography | Comedy | Drama

Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Dascha Polanco, Bradley Cooper
Biography | Drama | War

The story of wartime photographer Lynsey Addario, who was one of four journalists held captive by the Libyan Army in 2011.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Rachel
...
Sheriff McDowell
...
Galloway
...
Campbell
...
Lowenstein
...
Buchanan
...
Coldfield
Bodil Jørgensen ...
Mrs. Sloan
Hilton McRae ...
Doctor
Raymond Waring ...
Ticket Master
Jirí Maria Sieber ...
Photographer #2
Petr Drozda ...
Big Bill McComb
Natasa Burger ...
Mother in Waiting Room
Edit

Storyline

In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some loves can never let you go.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

26 February 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Falling  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$100,090 (USA) (27 March 2015)

Gross:

$176,305 (USA) (8 May 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Third project starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence; this is the second time they are playing love interests. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pemberton: Hell, that dog's bigger than that. I thought you said there were panthers here.
Galloway: I ain't seen a panther in these mountains for nine years.
Pemberton: What about the carcass we found up in Noland? Something mauled that.
Galloway: That weren't no panther. Chest weren't torn open. They eat the heart first.
Pemberton: You find me an honest-to-God panther to hunt, and I'll give you a $20 gold piece.
Galloway: If there's a panther still around here it's likely touched by the devil. They end up hunting you.
Pemberton: Well, I want one.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Projector: Serena/Love, Rosie (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Serena is a ferociously sloppy film that's misfires on all fronts.
26 October 2014 | by (Suffolk, England) – See all my reviews

Trainwreck is a strong word. Average is another strong word. Mediocre sounds about right. Serena isn't necessarily a film that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence should concern themselves with burying, it'll be forgotten at the bottom of the bargain bin in no time, but it's not something to be proud of either. Director Susanne Bier, whose 2010 film In A Better World won the Foreign Language Oscar, just doesn't seem to know what to do with the material and it's a tonal catastrophe. Set in Depression-era North Carolina, the story focuses on entrepreneurial newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton, played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence respectively, as they struggle to maintain their timber empire in the face of betrayal from their closest allies. Life becomes complicated as Serena cannot bear children, but before they met George had already impregnated one of his maids. It's a power struggle of greed and corruption between all involved and leaves a startlingly bloody trail.

Unfortunately, Jennifer Lawrence's performance is all over the place, up the walls and on the ceiling. However, it's not necessarily her fault. She has more understanding of Serena than Bier seems to have and ultimately she's at odds with how her character is presented. Lawrence plays Serena cold, robotic, calculating, to the point where she seems disinterested. She's a sociopathic and manipulative character. But Bier wants our hearts to ache with pity when she's on screen, emotions difficult to muster when it works better on a psychological level. A slight tonal adjustment more aligned to the way Lawrence is playing could make our skins crawl when we see her, and be much more compelling for it. As a result, Lawrence just feels way off. Random bursts of tears and screams don't help consistent characterization, not even fitting to the mould of the sociopath. The editing isn't her friend. The film is littered with continuity errors and she amusingly keeps darting across Cooper's shoulder. Their chemistry is as tender as ever, their sweeping romance is much less so thanks to skimming over every detail.

The film would've been a decent (if mild) psychological thriller if it played its cards right and wasn't concerned with any sentiment. But would Lawrence have been better if the style was adjusted? Perhaps slightly. The complaints about her not fitting the time period are valid, but not glaring. As an actress, she's still unpolished potential, and has at least improved since she shot Serena, but Bier's direction fails her. Not to completely blame others, her character is a disaster on everybody's shoulders. However, in the film's third act it does come to its senses and finally realizes what kind of story it is, but the execution is still very weak, lacking any tension or spatial awareness on how to shoot its most kinetic scenes. It feels like there is a decent film buried underneath there somewhere with all its dynamics, maybe a couple more drafts away, maybe a couple more takes, maybe a more intuitive editor behind the wheel. But the potential is lost. Perhaps a road closer to Foxcatcher's gritty authentic realm would've made for a more engrossing film, but that tone is far from its interests and selling points.

On the other hand, Cooper is solid. Nothing great, he too has evidently improved since the shoot. He's easy to buy as this character of someone who could have the power to run an empire, and be the type of person who would fall for Serena and eventually be manipulated by her. His acting process as he confronts his moral dilemmas is laid entirely on screen, given that the film offers many shots of him just thinking. But he's immersed enough in the character to make it work. He is a touch too unlikeable to invest in given his corruption, but he makes the whole thing a lot more watchable than it could've been. Alas, peripheral characters are starved of development. Most glaringly is Ana Ularu, ostensibly a key character as the mother of Cooper's child, and she's given literally nothing to do but share venomous glares with Jennifer Lawrence. Rhys Ifans is solid, but his character is written too idiotically to take seriously. Toby Jones toes a fine line between being too self-aware, but it's David Dencik who is the most radiant of the cast in his screen time. Not that he's a fascinating character, just happens to have the most convincing conviction of the ensemble.

I want to time travel back to their set and leave the crew a tripod because if there's any way to devalue millions of dollars of (lovely) production and costume design it's giving the camera to Jimmy Tremble Fingers. It's like a Kathryn Bigelow film, constantly but only slightly shaking with the camera settings making the frame flicker every other shot. The film is void of any cinematic atmosphere. It's such a shame because when the second unit shoots the astonishing static vistas of the Smokey Mountains it gives me hope that it could be an attractive film. But there's no grace to be found otherwise. Serena is just a ferociously sloppy film. The biggest sin is how it enters dark territory without embracing it, feeling as though it's in denial of how brutal its story truly is. The attempts to be poetic in its imagery are laughable and the film often ruins decent moments with trite cringe- worthy lines. Nevertheless, it isn't an unbearable film, if 'not always bad' can be a compliment. There will be some people who can ignore these flaws and like it for what it is. It doesn't quite deserve the lashing it's suffered so far, but lets just quietly put it back on the shelf.

4/10


49 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
did jennifer lawrence sucks in this movie? crazywera
Why is Jennifer Lawrence getting 2nd billing? LynneSin
Saw the movie last friday HostSafe123
are they trying to be the new Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? rakusa
Hollywood Rule #1 worldpieceprod
Is Serena meant to be disturbed? angelexposed
Discuss Serena (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?