Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Sam Reid, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones
Director: Susanne Bier
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have shown that they are a movie match made in heaven in recent years, with the likes of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle under their belts.
The pair reunited last year for Serena, which was a big screen adaptation of the book by Ron Rash and saw Susanne Bier back in the director's chair.
Sadly, lightening has not struck a third time for Lawrence and Cooper as Serena is a movie that really did leave me feeling incredibly cold.
The North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s - George and Serena Pemberton, love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man's life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions.
However, once Serena discovers George's hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton's passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.
The main problem I have with Serena is the script. To say that the story is a little limp and uninspiring is a bit of an understatement - it really is quite dull. This is a movie that is set during the Depression and should be gritty with strong and interesting characters... sadly, it has none of this.
This is a movie that had been severely delayed in reaching the big screen, now it is easy to see why. Lawrence and Cooper do the best with what they are given, but their characters really are a little flat and they have nothing to truly get their teeth into.
Of course, the presence of Lawrence and Cooper and the chemistry between these two actors makes it watchable, but the script does not do these two very talented stars justice.
One a slightly more positive note, Serena is a beautiful looking film and the cinematography really is the star of the show.
I was a big fan of Susanne Bier's recent movie Love Is All You Need, but this is a real misfire from the filmmaker and perhaps a script that she should have given a wide berth.
Lawrence and Cooper give it their all but the rather ridiculous storyline and the underdeveloped characters really does let Serena down massively. Interesting themes of greed and jealousy are not explored as fully as they could and should have been and the whole thing is just a little flat when the credits rolled.
I can understand why the Ron Rash adaptation would have been a drawn to Bier, Lawrence, and Cooper, but this Depression era story has really not delivered. A great shame.