Despite never having been attached in real life (outside of gossip column speculation), rising Hollywood stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence seem to be very at home sharing the big screen together, having co-starred in The Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and upcoming period drama Serena, in which Cooper and Lawrence play a married couple who become the king and queen of the timber industry in 1920s/30s North Carolina.
Based on the novel by Ron Rash, Serena chronicles the rise to success of George and Serena Pemberton, who move to North Carolina from Boston and ruthlessly build up a powerful timber empire. Since this is the season of depressing stories about marriage, however, things start to unravel as Serena uncovers the skeletons in her husband’s closet.
Serena was directed by Susanne Bier (Brothers) and adapted from the novel by K-19: The Widowmaker screenwriter Christopher Kyle. The trailer for Serena made it clear that the Pembertons are as much business partners as they are life partners, and in a new clip from the film George Pemberton explicitly lays down this fact for their timber workers, to the consternation of their business partner Mr. Buchanan (David Dencik). Check out the clip above, and new stills from Serena below.
Serena also stars Sean Harris as Campbell, the Pembertons’ bookkeeper; Toby Jones as local law enforcement officer Sheriff McDowell; and Rhys Ifans as Serena’s henchman, Galloway. With its UK release set for October 24th, Serena is potentially being pushed for awards season consideration overseas, but behind-the-scenes details suggest that there may be a good reason behind it not getting an Oscar-qualifying end of year run.
It’s now been over two and a half years since Serena was shot, and the US distribution rights eventually fell to Magnolia Pictures after no other studio was willing to pick it up – allegedly due to confusing editing and uneven performances. That doesn’t bode well for the film being a strong contender during awards season, but it could still be an interesting watch for those who love stories about doomed romance and/or logging.
Serena will release in the US in early 2015.