Sunday 15 September 2019

Serena - 'something you'd expect to find on some TV channel specialising in melodrama and period hokum'

Serena stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper
Serena stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

George Bryne

Drama. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, David Dencik, Toby Jones, Sam Reid. Directed by Suzanne Bier. Cert 15A

**

Something appears to have gone badly wrong with Suzanne Bier’s adaptation of Ron Rash’s acclaimed novel of love and corruption in the South Carolina of the late 1920s.

You’ve got a fantastic cast, with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper having proven onscreen chemistry, yet the film sat on a shelf for almost two years and seems to have been edited by several committees working independently of each other.

As a result, the story of would-be lumber magnate George Pemberton (Cooper) and his strange, controlling wife Serena (Lawrence) resembles something you’d expect to find on the outer fringes of some TV channel specialising in amped-up melodrama and period hokum.

A dreadful disappointment.

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