5.4/10
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83 user 138 critic

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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,775 ( 516)

Jennifer Lawrence Through the Years

Take a look back at Jennifer Lawrence's career on and off the screen.

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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

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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

Jennifer Lawrence recommended Bradley Cooper for the project. They had worked together previously on Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and they got along so well that they often spoke about working together again in the future. When Lawrence read the script for this movie, she sent a copy to Cooper and asked if he would do it with her. See more »

Goofs

At minute 40:07 Pemberton and Buchanan encounter the bear. The bear that appears on screen is a grizzly, not a black bear. Grizzlies did not inhabit the Smoky Mountains of 1929. 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.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Beignet Cakewalk
Written by Jeff Ford and Michael Esneault (as Mike Esneault)
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I laughed and I cried - becauce I watched the darn thing!
25 February 2015 | by ArchonCinemaReviewsSee all my reviews

If a film has Academy Award nominated actors, is based off a New York Times bestseller, it can still be a crap movie. We present to you: Serena.

Serena is a bunch of melodramatic nonsense masked as a worthy Hollywood feature film – when in reality it is just a bigger budgeted soap opera set in a historical time period.

George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) is trying to build a timber empire in North Carolina in 1929. While in the Northeast he meets a captivating woman named Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) and marries her. Together, the newly married couple return to North Carolina and pursue the venture together, Serena being the ever proficient business partner. Their saga and dramatics for success is the basis of the narrative within this film.

Anyone who has read the novel Serena by Ron Rash should be deeply disappointed by the film adaptation by screenwriter Christopher Kyle and director Susanne Bier. I'm disappointed and all I did was read the summary of the novel after watching the film, and all I can say is "woof, Cliffnotes, eat your heart out." Serena is a tragedy of editing, direction, screen writing, and acting all with a pretty paint job to delude viewers into thinking the drama is adequate.

With so much wrong in the film it is hard to differentiate whose shoulders must bear the brunt of the blame. Surely the starting point for the film is the script, and Kyle's is devoid of suspense, tension and drama. The dialogue does nothing to progress the plot in a feasible manner so director Susanne Bier must, like a magician, attempt to cultivate it from thin air. Not to say her attempt is admirable either, the gritty drama about greed set in the dense forest of North Carolina has no mood, no vision and is plainly shot with a vividity that exacerbates Serena's lifelessness.

Speaking of lifeless, moving on to the lead performers of this film: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Neither both to develop their characters in any fashion. Both Cooper and Lawrence are hollow mannequins going through the motions – no greed, no hate, no love, no passion, no motivation, no flaws, no self, no soul. Admittedly, they are severely miscast for their roles but the level at which they falter is startling.

The only entertainment received from watching Serena is from laughing at this allegedly dramatic film that fails to engage its viewer. Serena is uninspired and dreadfully cliché – watch out for some hilariously poor sex scenes and side-splitting 'emotional breakdowns'. Serena is so poorly done, from all angles, its a marvel the film even managed an internet release in the States.

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