Once again, we find ourselves in that strange spot of anticipation. When a film takes two years from the end of principal photography to cinema release, does that indicate trouble? If it has taken so long to ‘tinker’ with it in post-production, is it going to be a mess? All these questions will soon be answered, as Serena has finally got a trailer.
Written by Christopher Kyle (Alexander, K-19: The Widowmaker) and adapted from the 2008 book of the same name by Ron Rash, this period drama is directed by Susanne Bier, who previously delivered Things We Lost In The Fire. Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton in 1929, the film sees the couple travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina to build an all-conquering timber empire. Though Serena is ambitious, driven and talented, her position is threatened by the discovery that she is unable to bear children – a situation exacerbated by the presence of George’s illegitimate son. Rhys Ifans (Elementary) and Ned Dennehy (Peaky Blinders) also star.
While the premise suggests some epic themes of Shakespearean proportions, the delayed release is causing some understandable scepticism. Oftentimes, hold-ups of this scale indicate problems at a studio or distributor level, but in this case, it seems that the filmmaker has simply continued to ‘tinker.’ The fact that she has released other projects in the intervening period might suggest that she was simply waiting until she felt it was ready.
Is it ready? What are seeing in this trailer? Well, nothing particularly earth-shattering, if I’m honest. Sure, it looks beautiful, and the two leads display the same kind of chemistry that worked so well for them in their first collaboration, Silver Linings Playbook. From this brief preview, however, I fear that they may be undermined by some unnecessarily ‘clunky’ dialogue, and sentimentality that falls more to the realm of soap opera than mature romantic drama.
I would happily welcome a final cut of Serena that proves me wrong, however, as trailers can never provide a cast-iron guarantee of the experience a full viewing would bring. That opportunity will arise first at the London Film Festival on October 13th 2014, followed by a UK-wide release on October 24th. The film is expected to roll out across Europe over the following months, although a US release date has not yet been announced.
You can check out the trailer for yourself, below.
Source: The Playlist