Review: Serena (2014) - Impressive Performances, Absent Plot

Word has it that once Jennifer Lawrence had read the script for Serena, she had sent it to former castmate of American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook Bradley Cooper. He read it and had agreed to join Lawrence on this period drama based in the 1930s depression era.

Bradley Cooper plays a wealthy owner of a timber plantation, George Pemberton, who, evidently is looking for love when he meets Serena, played by Jennifer Lawrence.

George is in no hurry at all to move things along with Serena, as the first words he says to her are, "I think we should get married".


Serena contains a cast that, on paper would tick all of the boxes for a potential Oscar-worth candidate.
While director Susanne Bier has a vision that complements the stunning setting of fake Carolina.

The chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence is evident, it's been there since Silver Linings and Hustle, so there were no issues in this department.

The Missing Story

The issues lie with the apparent lack of plot. Events occur, but with no build up, no aftermath. They just occur, like arbritrary occurences which have no effect on the film whatsoever.

It's this frustrating nature of the film that truly drags it down. With a stellar cast but a plot that screams for more flesh, Serena doesn't hold up too well against many of the Oscar candidates this year.


It is truly the actors' performances that ultimately make this film watchable, but even then, there are many flaws that make you want to take an axe to the head. Though they do carry the film, the lack of a coherent plot failed to really take the film anywhere.


Karan Dholakia

Films, comic books, video games, wrestling, writing, and a helluva load of other stuff are my interests. I write, watch films, and write some more. Also, Movieville is my child.