How often have you read overwhelmingly cutting, disparaging reviews of a movie, enough to prevent you from seeing it in theaters, only to finally see it on DVD, and then enjoy it, leaving you to wonder what movie the critics saw? This is indeed what happened to me in the case of Serena, a film I’d been looking forward to for a long time, ever since I read the novel years ago. I knew Jennifer Lawrence was playing the title role, and when she isn’t making a living in her tent pole franchises, she seems always to choose interesting parts, and is terrific in them.
It’s easy to see why Lawrence chose Serena: the story is a period piece, and her character one-ups Lady Macbeth. The film is set in a depression-era North Carolina logging camp, where Serena is the new wife of the camp owner, played convincingly, as always, by Bradley Cooper. His logging interests are up against a pro-humanist environmental effort, led by Toby Jones. With Lady Macbeth’s machinations, matching those of Cathy in East of Eden, egging him on toward new heights of brutality and rapaciousness, Cooper finally finds himself in a league above his head, and the denouement is truly Shakespearean. And we have the pleasure of seeing Lawrence with a raptor on her fist! – [DVD] [Blu-Ray]
DVD Release Date: 6/09/15