Saw this movie because firstly my admiration of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence working well together in Silver Lining's Playbook, and secondly the bad reputation, so I gave it a shot and showed my support and went to the cinema to watch it. I must say I was positively surprised how well it was done based on the genre of the movie, the story captures well how love can be affected by desperate actions that doesn't have to take place to protect what you've got. Now, I don't know what the other reviewers expected from it or what they think the movie lacks of, maybe it's <more>
because of the main characters star status, that they are expected to entertain the mass with blockbuster recipe, where it's not only about drama.. Well, for those who haven't seen it, give it a shot and enjoy it for it's genre. Simply had to write a review, because it deserves better.
An iconic field that diverges from Hollywood formulas (by Blackbird013-1)
To be honest I am only writing this review because the film has had such a negative reception. I want to make a few things clear.This film rather than following the Hollywood formula is more true to life in the sense that some European films have been. Life isn't always exciting, sometimes it can be brooding rather than fast paced with flashy cars and "cool" props being used to polish up perception.I would classify this as historical fiction in the sense that most films with a historical setting have a lot of flash and posturing. This film offers a view of the less glamorous <more>
times during the depression. It gives you a glimpse of the issues through the plot rather than show you first hand. Some elements are true to Hollywood such as perfectly clean main characters but conceptually this film seems like a simple slice of life.One person said you ended up not liking anyone. I think that's the entire point of the film. It's dark, brooding, and it has things to say about the nature of people and life without offering the flash and allure of a visually stunning or fun filled film. Many can't understand the setting the depression and might not understand the hard choices people made between survival and dreams which still relates to current life in many ways.I found the plot believable and think it's a good film for the deeper thinkers and realistic story lovers. Although poetic, it substitutes flash for substance. Instead of looking for something action packed or something to cuddle up with just accept it for what it is. It's unlikely to be pleasant for the light hearted.
Big Epic Movie. Big Stars. Delivers Bigger than Big! (by wmcg001)
Serena is Hollywood at it's best. It doesn't disappoint from beginning to end. It's easy to follow, visually stunning and ends up being so suspenseful I was on the edge of my seat paralyzed and shaken up considering what could, would and did occur. Jennifer Lawrence makes me want to give her a kiss, however in Serena is it a kiss of death? She plays this complicated 1929 beauty with haunting reality. Bradly Cooper plays his part perfectly. He's a powerful presence whenever on screen. This guy is one of the best leading men around. He's a modern day Paul Newman, which <more>
brings to mind how this movie is much like big movies of Hollywood's "golden age." Movies with great actors starring in big movies I'd anticipate seeing at weekly outings to the "show." Seldom disappointed with what I experienced on the big screen. Serena is a movie of that caliber. My big screen is in the comfort of my home,Serena miraculously streamed. With a high quality, carefully crafted movie like Serena I am perhaps more satisfied with the movie's entertainment experience than back in the old days.
I have never been a fan of Jennifer Lawrence and never understood the brouhaha about her looks and acting.That is, until now. In this movie, she played the most convincing rendition of a manipulative psycho that I have ever seen. She was so poised and elegant as she wrapped the men in this movie around her little finger. The chemistry between Jennifer and Bradley Cooper was notable, and the plot got very interesting within no time 30 minutes tops ! My only complaint is that spoiler alert the movie basically skipped through the courting phase and jumped straight into the marriage. Oh well. <more>
It was all worth it. I will watch again and recommend it to all. 9.2/10
I've read the book and loved it. I did fear the translation to movie especially since the word was it was originally intended to be a cable TV mini-series which would in all likelihood have to be cut down for a theatrical release. And while some scenes were truncated from the book this is a movie after all and that always happens the basic crux of the story is there. While there are no specific "heroes" this is a wonderful adaptation of the book which examines people of the era and area especially the relationship between husband and wife of the story. The question becomes, <more>
"who's in charge"?Kudos to the actors who have never been better. I was also especially impressed by the photography. The camera makes statements without a spoken word.Also a tip of the hat to the wonderful director! And let me not forget the F/X magicians.
I went to see this film yesterday and I liked certain aspects of it. Jennifer was brilliant in the role of Serena. The cinematography was beautiful. The score was very repetitive though! And it appeared that the film itself had been hacked to pieces in the editing process, which was probably due to the "plane noise"! This film is by no means, a disaster, but it could have been a lot worse! I am going to go and see it once more though...just for the hell of it! It is such a shame about this film, it had the potential to be s lot better than it was! The script was a bit lacklustre for <more>
the most-part, but Jennifer and Bradley managed to piece something together that was watchable!
Lumber baron meets match in wife with other-worldly power (by maurice_yacowar)
Serena seems to have evaded its audience by risking an unusual experiment in form. One scene relates the post-Depression North Carolina to a contemporary concern: the battle between ecologists and the commercial exploiters of the natural world. But that's the only modern element in the film. Even there it goes against our current grain by arraying our sympathies with horrors the lumber baron, George Pendleton Bradley Cooper . His love and new wife Serena Jennifer Lawrence loves trees but shares his ardor for lumber profits, especially his plan to expand into the virgin wilds of <more>
Brazil. The environmentalist lefties here are played as homely schemers, fumble bunnies and betrayers. The issue may be modern but the film's perspective is deliberately archaic -- to fit its ancient genre. The titular heroine tips the film away from modern storytelling back into the tone and structure of the classic medieval ballad. It's an old-fashioned story with only that one political scene to root it in our present. For Serena is not so much a modern heroine as a classical ballad figure, a mysterious woman with destructive powers and an other- worldly mien. Serena is a force of nature. She rides a white stallion as if it were a loveseat. She trains eagles to destroy the rattlesnakes. She reads people with an animal's intuition, whether George's frustrated-lover partner or the girl carrying George's child. Serena's face seems mask-like until George finally confronts the rumoured alien predator — a panther. Then Lawrence's face and makeup make sense. She's like the panther, an exotic untamed, murderous outsider. The feral animal and her George die in mutual destruction — in each other's arms. But that's George and the cat. The jig up, their epic extra-ethical passion thwarted, Serena burns herself alive, consigned to the ashes from which she rose phoenix-like from the earlier fire which consumed her family. Serena certainly is not serene but then neither is that nature — red in tooth and claw — that we gloss over when we "preserve" its wild forces as a Hallmark card national park. Clear-eyed director Bier's Nature is blood-thirsty without people around, torn with mutual predators, and even bloodier when humans bring their own lusts, greed and mishap. Set aside that one debate over exploiting nature and this film is like a ballad. The characters are abstractions, the passions primitive, the narrative elliptical, skipping scenes like the heroes' courtship and wedding and the disclosure of George's illegitimate son. The incidents pass in a formal rhythm, detailing a story that has been happening since time immemorial. The gifted seer Galloway Rhys Ifans drifts through the narrative with macabre, invincible force, joined with Serena by bis mother's prophecy. She's La belle dame and he's devotedly sans merci. To enjoy this superb film you have to take it on its own terms.
I usually write a review only when my opinion drastically differentiates from what I find already contributed - when there's a dire need to tip the scale. And there is one here, to save this incredible film from the lynch mob. This atmospheric dark period romance set in an unusual stage has a lot of human drama to offer. And this is what S. Bier is known at excelling. And pouring it on, which obviously irritates some part of the audience. But it is all done with a lot of taste for timing, with a good and fresh modern editing which disposes of most needless parts of the action and instead <more>
rather reserves that time for us to think about it all during the breaks of foggy Smoky Mountains scenery. Obfuscation plays a leading role here, and this landscape couldn't be a better choice. Film is layered with appropriately somber music used/mixed with subtlety, and likewise its gorgeous photography has been wonderfully appreciated by the edit which understands its visual potential. This is one of those rare instances where a pattern of hand-held closeups doesn't seem gratuitous, but does manage to bring us closer to the characters. Beside this being the result of the strong characters themselves, it is also a combination of a slower, not-frenetic pace, with a lot of static masters too. While there might be some unbelievable decisions the characters make in this story, we need to remind ourselves that instead of treating this as a negative, these are the emotional extremes we should be welcoming, in an emotional rawness which needs appreciation. At the end, it is an emotional and symbolic theater in which all the elements and symbols have and live to deliver their wonderfully intertwined meanings.