Serena (2014)

A week ago, I scored some tickets to go see the advanced screening of Serena.  I really don’t know much about this one other than the fact that its based on a novel and that it stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Both of them have my highest respect so although I’m not exactly a fan of drama, I was ready to give this out.  Plus, its free,right? Along with one of my girl friends, we headed over to see it.

Note: My friend is a fantastic movie companion because she helped discuss the movie with me afterwards.

serenaDirector: Susanne Bier

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, Sean Harris, Sam Reid, Blake Ritson, Ana Ularu

In North Caroline 1929, George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) is trying to build his lumber empire, hoping to expand to Brazil one day.  While away taking care of business, he meets the beautiful Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) where their passion quickly leads them to a flash marriage.  Serena proves to be not only a great wife but also a convincing partner as her beauty matches to her abilities to win herself over the men working in the lumber company. However, her appearance there also has complicated a few relationships.

Oh, Serena, Serena, Serena…. you know how some movies are really bad and you can laugh at it because its so bad.  Like, Sharknado or whatever that doesn’t take themselves seriously.  This one is just really bad.  I’m pretty lenient on movies but let me say this, we had the option to comment as we exited the theatre and the guy responsible asked my friend and she used one word: Painful.  Let me break it down for you a little.

Lets start with the good stuff, ok?


– The location: Smoky mountains, North Carolina, the scenes.  They were all so beautiful.
– Jennifer Lawrence was extremely convincing as Serena.  Her intensity and how she’s equally smart and capable as the men there and her passion fuming a little crazy bitch thing going on.  She was fantastic.
-The rest of the cast: Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans etc. were also really good with each of their roles


Now, what suffered?

The script, my friends.  I was curious and went to check out some comments on the novel Serena before I wrote up this.  I got everything the book seems to want to portray: passion and revenge.  Its there. The pacing is absolutely horrible though.  I looked at my watch at about 30 minutes into the movie and thats because it felt like an hour had gone through and nothing has happened except for a lot of random extremely short sex scenes.  At one particular scene involving a bathtub (highlight if you want to see the spoiler: with Jennifer Lawrence being fingered and sex moans ), I started wondering if I was watching soft porn.  Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at passionate sex scenes (no matter how short they are). I promise you passion is the message they want here and its done too much.


So thats just 30 minutes, right? For a movie called Serena, she wasn’t really present.  She has this invisible presence, I guess. She did cause a lot of the problems because of her being there.  Another dude that gets a little weird: quiet and creepy (like Serena’s character in a way) is Galloway.  He says this really weird line before hell breaks loose and everyone laughs because it was so awkward. 

I don’t want to go all judge-y and mean.  Its not who I am but this movie really wasn’t that great. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and Rhys Ifans, they acted the hell out of this one with what they had but other than the lovely scenery and their convincing acting, the script isn’t strong at all. The message is in there but I just never was able to get into the story or connect with it and its characters.  Not one of them. It was just slow and boring and since I didn’t connect with anything, the ending just made it even worse.

I’m really chill with movies and I try to find something good about it but this one was like watching meaningless porn, then it tried to put me to sleep when that died off.  There is definitely something going on here and I think as a novel, it probably works a gazillion times better.  In fact, I’m going to pick up a copy of that novel and check it out.  I get what the story is trying to do but some things aren’t meant for the big screen and I have a feeling, this is one of those times.

Have you read the novel Serena? Shed some light on your thoughts of it.

Have you seen Serena and what did you think of it? If you didn’t, did the movie intrigue you?

9 thoughts on “Serena (2014)

  1. Pingback: My Weekly Adventures! | Tranquil Dreams

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