Preston Barta // Editor
SERENA was near the top of many lists of books to read before they’re movies, and for this one, it’s for good reason. What has distinguished SERENA from other novels of the romance genre is the nuanced way in which it weaves in sociological commentary. With the film, however, Ron Rash’s acclaimed novel gets unfair treatment and ventures into melodramatic nonsense.
So just when you thought the pairing of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t get any better (especially after generating sparks in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK), they let you down by uncomfortably walking around in a story about a newlywed couple set on building a timber empire in the North Carolina woodlands.
SERENA is quite simply a flat period romance that possesses very little chemistry and misfires on all cylinders. After watching it (with its incredible, Academy Award-winning talent behind and in front of the camera), you can’t help but feel that somewhere in what you saw there was a decent movie that got lost on the cutting room floor.
SERENA opens in limited release.
Dallas: Magnolia Cinema