For the longest time, Susanne Bier’s reclusive drama Serena was a cinematic mystery – despite the presence of two massive, A-list stars in Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Then, media started asking questions about it. Now it has a firm festival screening date, and finally, a trailer.
Yahoo Movies brings us this exclusive look at the movie that has been years in the making – though the cause for the delay is up for debate. We basically know what Serena is going to be about, but now we know how it looks. As was reported earlier, Serena is a period drama about a man (Cooper) and a woman (Lawrence) who move from New England to North Carolina to take over a lumber organization. The sight of falling trees and Jennifer Lawrence burying an ax in an oak as she chides lazy workers hints at the turmoil still to come. Then, the tone of Serena shifts.
"I’d like to speak to your wife," a character says at the turn of the clip. "There has been a murder." Which means Jennifer Lawrence’s title character is up to far more than we might have thought initially. It was suggested in the film’s plot synopsis that Serena becomes unhappy with the fact that she can’t bear children. So she goes after the woman who once gave her love a child – and it isn’t to invite her to tea.
Still, I want to know what’s happening in this scene. That’s some intricately crazy, backwoods blood transfusion happening.
So what happened with Serena, which was filmed before both Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle helped turn Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper into critical and awards darlings? Reports vary. Some note that director Susanne Bier is a perfectionist, though she has released movies since filming Serena. It recently was suggested that she needed vocal and line readings completed by the cast, but couldn’t get time with the busy Lawrence or Cooper.
Both sound bogus, to be honest, but at least we know the film is coming. Serena, it recently was reported, will play the BFI London Film Festival in October. The trouble is that the movie doesn’t have U.S. distribution, and no planned release date in the States. In a normal year, this would be a film making the rounds at film festivals, ready to contend for Oscar. Perhaps that’s just not in Serena’s cards.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.