Film Review: Serena

Consequence of Sound

Has there ever been a shorter romancing period on film? Pemberton, meet Serena. Serena, Pemberton. Tonight you will be played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Fine talents. But good luck with the story here, you guys.

Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, 1929. (Or rather, the forests of the Czech Republic, 2012, when this was filmed.) Pemberton (Cooper) is a brassy schmuck in the woods, running his low-level lumber company. There’s some sort of New York accent on him, but it’s too hard to place. There are accidents, and the company seems disorganized and fiscally irresponsible, but he’s making a living among men. Enter the exotic Serena (Lawrence). She’s on a horse, so she must be wild! And Pemberton has a thing for hunting, specifically some sort of elusive panther! The metaphors these two are playing with are perfect.

We get unconfident fades, in and out. An elegant ball. A love…

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