WEIRDLAND: Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence in Depression drama "Serena"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence in Depression drama "Serena"

"Serena" Featurette - The Story (2015) -  starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, directed by Susanne Bier. In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when it is learned that his wife, Serena, cannot bear children.

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In an exclusive clip from “Serena,” Lawrence’s on-screen reunion with “Silver Linings Playbook” star Bradley Cooper, we have just that type of dazzling majesty on display. Cooper’s character, George Pemberton, has not yet met Serena (Lawrence), and is totally enthralled watching her ride around on the horse, while Agatha (Charity Wakefield) gives him the scoop on Serena’s sordid past.

“I hit the jackpot being able to work with Jennifer Lawrence twice in a row on ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ and now on ‘Serena,’” Bradley Cooper says in this new feaurette for Susanne Bier’s drama “Serena." “She is a wonderful, wonderful actress.” While that may be true, “Serena” got hammered with negative reviews back in the fall of last year — which wasn’t a huge surprise given the movie was delayed for almost two years.

Official synopsis: North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s – George (Bradley Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Jennifer Lawrence), love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton’s passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

“Serena” does not arrive in theaters until March 27th, but it hits VOD this Thursday, February 26th. Watch a new international trailer, a clip from the film, and the aforementioned featurette below, plus check out a handful of new photos. Source:

The situation, tragic and stormily fateful, will be familiar to anyone versed in wide-screen Hollywood outdoor romantic tragedies of the late 1940s and early fifties. If you squeeze your eyes tightly enough, Serena might drain its colour to evoke a black-and-white Robert Ryan/Barbara Stanwyck vehicle directed by King Vidor or Raoul Walsh. But open them again and you’re still watching Serena, one of those movies that proves that the mere presence of all the right ingredients does not a happy meal make. It’s all in the mixing.

Filmed two years ago (between Lawrence and Cooper’s bell-ringing collaborations in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), the delay of this movie is mysterious given that its stars may only be more bankable together than they already are apart. How could you lose with a retro-romantic period noir about a love so toxic it clear cuts the Carolina hills? The answer, it seems, is simply to stand back and hope chemistry will do its own work.

But even nitro and glycerine won’t go boom unless they’re properly mixed. For Serena to have succeeded, and to have lived up to the promise of a modern-day classic Hollywood throwback, it needed to get so deeply inside the madness of the attraction between Serena and George that nothing else would matter. Source:

An arrestingly nihilistic Depression melodrama, marked by courageous performances and exquisite production values, this story of a timber-industry power couple undone by financial and personal corruption nonetheless boasts neither a narrative impetus nor a perceptible objective. The result is both problematic and fascinating, an unsympathetic spiral of human tragedy that plays a little like a hand-me-down folk ballad put to film. It’s not hard to see why a U.S. distributor has been slow to step forward.

Magnolia Pictures, sister outfit of the pic’s production company 2929, will ultimately release “Serena” Stateside in 2015, while Blighty auds will get to see it later this month, hot on the heels of its London festival premiere. Marketing for the film is already positioning it as a throwback romance in the “Cold Mountain” vein, with understandably heavy emphasis on Lawrence and Cooper looking scrumptious in Signe Sejlund’s impeccable period costumes. As a study in mutually destructive marital abrasion, “Serena” boasts no less bleak a worldview than David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” with which it would unexpectedly form a canny double bill.

The Stanwyck comparisons lavished upon Lawrence’s Oscar-winning work in “Silver Linings Playbook” resurface here; she certainly looks every inch the Golden Age siren with her crimped vanilla locks and array of creamy silken sheaths that, true to vintage Hollywood form, never seem to get sullied in the wild. The star also makes good on her proven chemistry with Cooper, who acquits himself with stoic intelligence and a variable regional accent in an inscrutable role that, for its occasional flourishes of Clark Gable bravado, is equal parts hero, anti-hero and patsy. Source:

Bradley Cooper's (Film Progression) video, featuring pictures and stills of Bradley Cooper & co-stars Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldaña, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Heather Graham, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Jaime King, Sandra Bullock; ex-wife Jennifer Esposito, girlfriend Suki Waterhouse, etc. Soundtrack: "Treat Me Nice", "Stuck On You", "She's Not You" & "Paralyzed" by Elvis Presley, "The Greatest Love" by Lee Dorsey, "Little Boy" by Eileen Barton, "Whole Lotta Loving" by Fats Domino, "Baby Be Mine" by The Jelly Beans, and "Oo-Wee Baby" by Jeff Barry & Darlene Love.


Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this, thanks for the clips!

Elena W said...

you're very welcome! "Serena" is way better than it's being reviewed.