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Susanne Bier (2013)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Following Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence reunite for a Depression-era drama from Danish director Susanne Bier (Brothers). Based on Ron Rash's novel, it finds Lawrence playing the titular "pistol" who, after a whirlwind courtship, joins her husband (Cooper) in North Carolina and becomes a driving force in his timber business. Unfortunately, a child he has had with an employee haunts their relationship. Bier hastens through the first act and, sadly, the whole story feels abbreviated. Lawrence is sensationally attired throughout and has an eventful arc, but Sean Harris, Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones are squandered in roles that do little more than advance the plot. There's pulse-racing peril at the close and a visual lustre that sees autumn become winter and love turn cold. Elegant but underdeveloped, Serena feels like the bare bones of a magnificent tragedy. Still, there are enough flashes of the film it might have been to make it worth watching.


A couple move to North Carolina during the Great Depression to set up a logging empire. While their business proves successful, various revelations create tension between them and ruthless ambition drives both to violent and destructive ends. Period drama based on the novel by Ron Rash, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Rhys Ifans.

Cast & Crew

Serena Pemberton Jennifer Lawrence (2)
George Pemberton Bradley Cooper
Galloway Rhys Ifans
Sheriff McDowell Toby Jones
Campbell Sean Harris
Buchanan David Dencik
Vaughn Sam Reid
Agatha Charity Wakefield
Lowenstein Blake Ritson
Ledbetter Ned Dennehy
Director Susanne Bier
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Studio Canal Guidance: Violence, sex scenes. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 24 Oct 2014


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