I watched this movie again for the second or third time since its release, desperately wanting to like it. I believe Susanne Bier is a genius (Den eneste ene, Freud flyttar hemifrån, and Sekten are among my favorites of all time) and I love Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Sadly, 2929 Productions is no long in business. What has always distinguished Serena from other novels of it's type is the thoughtful and nuanced way that philosophical and sociological commentary was woven into the story, but here, Rash's novel gets dumbed down badly! Serena is not just a lot of melodramatic nonsense or a chance to spotlight the latest Hollywood hotties. Rather, it is a meaningful exploration of what it means to be human. The book was intelligent and character driven. Now it is all about the loss of an infant (?) and sappy one-liners?
Bier's Serena is the same story boiled down into an unmemorable soap opera fluff cash-grab buddy flick oddly devoid of any chemistry. Not unlike the "expendables" franchise, one gets the impressions that the films main stars are never actually in the same room together. The "surprises" Bier plants aren't surprises if you're familiar with the novel. This film represents the dumbing down of cinema -the injection of supposed "human interest" into a what once was a great tale of almost supernatural compulsion. I totally understand why people give these diabolical films good marks - they watch them, don't really have any idea what is going on, kind of enjoy the stuff that happens while people do cool stuff and run around and then think that the plot was actually really subtle and sophisticated. Ergo it must have been good. NO. You want a subtle and sophisticated plot go read the Magus. Humanity is doomed. Bring on the rapture :) What's next some tween vampires, or at least some gossipy emo girl types, to be injected into writings of Charlemagne?
It is just a standard stupid chick flick with characters named Serena and George Pemberton. Nothing whatsoever of Rash's work is preserved, everything is just nonsense and stereotypes. It is a shame.
In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton's timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.
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July 21, 2016 at 6:41 PM