No, not another bit of Mockingjay Part 2 news, but there is a new Jennifer Lawrence movie to watch (and win). Yes, it was a movie that we’ve been wondering about for a while, and now Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper is coming to Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD June 9.
In the film, based off the novel of the same name by Ron Rash, Cooper plays George Pemberton, an aspiring timber tycoon in North Carolina facing the economic pressures coming from the stock market crash in 1929. He meets Serena (Lawrence) and they immediately fall in love. Yes, immediately. He sees her riding a horse at an exhibition, his sister tells him the sad story of how she grew up in a timber industry family but the rest of her family died tragically. Then boom, he follows her on that horse. They have a brief interaction where he says they should get married, then there’s some cuts in of a ballroom and a sex scene. It’s quite abrupt, and intended as a “love at first sight” scenario so we’re just supposed to go with it, because there’s lots more story to go in this film. When the happy couple returns to the timber camp in North Carolina, they face financial pressure, threat from the US government to take over the land for a national park, and a “complication” between George Pemberton and a former employee, Rachel. There’s even more twists and turns, a great many of them tragic, that shape the characters and their decisions. Not to mention there’s a panther roaming around that George Pemberton is obsessed with hunting which I’m sure has more thematic relevance in the novel.
The characters are designed to be flawed and thus they make some really bad decisions along the way, motivated by ambition, jealousy, and self-preservation. George and Serena Pemberton aren’t particularly likable characters, but you do have moments where you feel sympathy for them. Cooper and Lawrence do a fine job in their roles, but the quick jumps from one subplot to the next never give them enough time to fully develop these characters (and their relationship) enough. I haven’t read the novel, but I have to imagine that Rash fleshes out at least his title character more than we have time to see here. You’ll also notice The Hunger Games’ Claudius Templesmith (Toby Jones) as the town sheriff. Overall, the visuals of the film are impressive with care taken to reconstruct Depression-era rural North Carolina.
The Blu-Ray features include deleted scenes and some featurettes on the making of the film. The deleted scenes help to fill in the blanks of some of the plot points, especially dealing with the character of Rachel. The behind the scenes featurettes include interviews with the director, producer, cast and crew (Hello, Jen and her 2012 Hunger Games promo hair!)
Bottom line – if you’re a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence, you’ll want to check it out just from pure curiosity. But be prepared to NOT approve of some of her character’s decisions.
We can make the decision to see it even easier for you! Enter here to win a copy of the film*.
*Contest is only available to US residents. Ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, June 8.