Based on a novel by Ron Rash, the film is about a Depression-era couple who carve out an empire in the North Carolina wilderness only to see it threatened with collapse.
Lawrence plays a tough, resilient woman who must prove herself in a hard-scrabble world and deal with her husband’s failings.
At the same time, she must also contend with her own secret — her inability to bear children.
George and Serena Pemberton start out the movie as love-struck newly-weds, and begin to build a timber empire together. George (Cooper) proudly notes that he as a wife and a partner in their business.
Serena proves she’s up for the task managing the timber operation, hunting rattlesnakes and saving a man’s life in the wilderness.
But the Great Depression changes everything and unearths secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
The new trailer for Susanne Bier’s picture provides a broad overview of the movie’s premise, and foreshadows the trouble to come, although it doesn’t reveal exactly what it is. Only this: George could end up in prison.
The movie screened at the BFI London Film Festival last month and was released in the UK on Oct 24. It did not fare well with critics.
The 23 critics who have reviewed the film gave it a collective rating of 35 percent on rottentomatoes, a web site that tracks reviews. That’s considered a flop.
“Serena only has one key flaw: it is difficult to believe a single word of it, still less to care about these relentlessly selfish and short-sighted characters,” writes Stephen Dalton for The Hollywood Reporter, summing up the sentiment.
But if you are a Cooper-Lawrence fan and enamored by sweeping cinematography, the film might still be for you. It also stars Rhys Ifans, Sean Harris, Toby Jones, Sam Reid and David Dencik.
Magnolia Pictures will release Serena on iTunes / VOD February 26, 2015 and in theaters March 27, 2015.
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