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Serena (2014)

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

Director:

Susanne Bier

Writers:

Christopher Kyle (screenplay), Ron Rash (based on the book by)
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Popularity
3,573 ( 1,043)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradley Cooper ... George Pemberton
Jennifer Lawrence ... Serena Pemberton
Rhys Ifans ... Galloway
Toby Jones ... Sheriff McDowell
David Dencik ... Buchanan
Sean Harris ... Campbell
Ana Ularu ... Rachel Hermann
Sam Reid ... Vaughn
Conleth Hill ... Doctor Chaney
Charity Wakefield ... Agatha
Douglas Hodge ... Horace Kephart
Kim Bodnia ... Abe Hermann
Christian McKay ... Boston bank manager (as Christian Mckay)
Philip Zandén ... Calhoun (as Philip Zanden)
Ned Dennehy ... Ledbetter
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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 | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

Czech Republic | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Falling See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$100,090, 29 March 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$176,305, 10 May 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The project was first announced as directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Angelina Jolie. They dropped out and were replaced by Susanne Bier and Jennifer Lawrence. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing adaptation:
23 October 2014 | by CharlieGreenCGSee 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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