Directed by Susanne Bier
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Rhys Ifans
In UK Cinemas October 24th, 2014

by Joanna Orland

Is Susanne Bier OK?  The two films that she has to showcase at the 58th BFI London Film Festival both have overlapping themes of miscarriages and the deaths of babies having catastrophic consequences.  While A Second Chance is a subtle Danish thriller about a dead baby, Serena is an in-your-face American mess about many things, including a dead baby.

Primarily, this film is about Serena and her husband George Pemberton.  They fall in love and she is a strong woman who ends up co-running George’s lumber business as well as his life.  The start of the film is sappy and sexual, never quite divulging much about these characters outside of their attraction to each other.  Eventually Serena becomes jealous of the child George fathered out of wedlock before they had met, and things get a little bat shit crazy very quickly.

The melodramatic content of this film is ridiculous.  The characters are underdeveloped and the plot too thin, so when the shit does hit the fan, it’s even more over the top and nonsensical than need be.  The performances are good because, well, it’s Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  Jennifer in particular is a beauty on the screen and lovely to watch, but these roles and this film are not good enough for talent of their calibre.

I don’t know why this film was made and I don’t know why anyone should ever watch it.  Out of the two dead baby films that Bier has on display at the 58th BFI London Film Festival, A Second Chance is the only one worth a chance.

One Response to “Serena”

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