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Serena (I) (2014)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 February 2015 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 14,014 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 68 user | 130 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (based on the book by)
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Credited cast:
Sheriff McDowell
Hilton McRae ...
Bodil Jørgensen ...
Mrs. Sloan
Barbora Lukesová ...
Crying Woman at Bank (as Barbora Lukesova)
Pavel Kríz ...
Upset Man at Bank
Raymond Waring ...
Ticket Master
Pavel Reznícek ...
Commissioner #2 (as Pavel Reznicek)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some loves can never let you go.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


| |


Release Date:

26 February 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Falling  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$176,305 (USA) (8 May 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


On two occasions there are "Zippo" lighters shown and used. The movie takes place in 1929. The "Zippo" company was not founded until 1932 (per their website). See more »


[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 »


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


There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears
Written by Fred Fisher
Performed by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
(Coronet: Bix Beiderbecke, Vocal: Bing Crosby)
Courtesy of RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Disappointing adaptation:
23 October 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.

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