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30 October 2014 @ 02:39 pm
Picoreview: Serena  

Picoreview: Serena: I walked out.

Spoilers after the cut, including How I Would Have Done It.

It wasn’t badly acted, but I didn’t like any of the characters and it was very clear that at least one and possibly both of the leads would end up dead because of the other one, but with none of the graceful inevitable tragedy of a Chinese film. It reminded me of Legends of the Fall, a movie which I didn’t like at all (except for the title: I think it’s an awesome freaking title) but regarded as being full of fine performances by everybody.

The story, roughly, is that timber magnate Brad Cooper’s business is in trouble what with governments wanting to create national parks and boring stuff like that right where he’s cutting down all the trees. He goes to town where he sees Jennifer Lawrence who has a Mysterious Timber Past and chases after her and proposes. They have a lot of sex and apparently actually get married but the movie was too busy focusing on the sexy times to show us that.

They return to Brad’s camp to see his ex-girlfriend 9 months pregnant and his gay business partner so upset about the new wife (who goes on to Impress Everybody with her Timber Knows) that he sells them out to the feds.

Naturally, Brad has to kill him for this, an act which Jennifer encourages by saying “He betrayed you. He was never your friend,” both before and after Brad kills him. The second time, Brad says, “You don’t even know,” thus leading me to believe that Brad and his gay partner were more than just business partners, which is certainly what *I* would have done with the story.

This was approximately the point at which I left. In my mind the story concludes this way:

Brad, gradually overcome by the guilt and horror of having murdered his former lover, begins to loathe Jennifer, who in turn resents and mistrusts his relationship (which may or may not exist) with the other woman who bore his child. Jennifer opts to pick up where Brad’s gay partner left off and sell his timber land to the government so that she, at least, has cash in hand. Brad, betrayed, plots to kill Jennifer, but his obsession with hunting panthers (what, didn’t I mention that? it opened the film and didn’t pan out before I left) provides an opportunity for Jennifer to kill him first, possibly with the assistance of the Sexy Dead-Eyed Hunting Guide who Senses Things About People and who may Know or Be Responsible for Things in her Mysterious Timber Past. Then they probably have sex and run off to Brazil together to take over the virgin timber lands that Brad had there and put up for hock but Jennifer with her Wiles and Brad’s money manages to finagle back. There she is crushed, ironically, by a falling tree, and the Sexy Dead-Eyed Hunting Guide walks away with all winnings.

I went and looked it up. This is *nothing* like what actually happens in the book (apparently it’s a book), or, evidently, the movie.

But it’s totally what *should* have happened.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Mindy Klaskymindyklasky on October 30th, 2014 05:49 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen SERENA (had to look it up to see which movie it is!), but I had the same reaction to LEGENDS OF THE FALL. The title, yes, and the *soundtrack*, and it had some of the best trailers I'd ever seen. After - literally - falling asleep in the movie, I saw the trailer months later, probably as the movie was coming to DVD, and I thought to myself, "I should see that film." Then I realized I had. Or hadn't, as the case might be...
kitmizkit on October 30th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
I want so badly to write a book called LEGENDS OF THE FALL but I don't know that anybody would let me. OTOH, they let Laura Resnick write a fantasy novel called THE WHITE DRAGON, which is a lot more cross-treading than LEGENDS OF THE FALL would be.
Alix (Tersa): Arnold--bleh! (tersa)tersa on October 30th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
I just had to read the wikipedia summary of the plot, and all I have to say is: sigh. Evil bitch woman trope strikes again. *(@#*()@*#()@*#()*@#()@*# ~keysmash~

Edited at 2014-10-30 09:48 pm (UTC)
kitmizkit on October 30th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
yes, but a man wrote it, so it's Literature.

i guess. @.@
kitmizkit on October 30th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
(also, srsly, wouldn't mine be a better version of the story? o.O)
Alix (Tersa): Arnold--bleh! (tersa)tersa on October 30th, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
It still suffers from evil bitch woman trope, which is the story's major failing to me haha.

But I approve of the gay lovers. XD

Also, you need to watch "Orphan Black", btw. OMG.
kitmizkit on October 31st, 2014 08:17 am (UTC)
I just finished episode 8 of season 1 and have some faint hope of watching the rest while Young Indiana is at school this morning. :)
Alix (Tersa): VM - Train wreck (noelia_g)tersa on October 31st, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
Wewwwwwwt. :)
kitmizkit on November 1st, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
Alix (Tersa): VM - Undertow (_split_in_two_)tersa on November 3rd, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC)
We wound up buying it on Amazon Instant because Can Not Wait. :)
kitmizkit on November 3rd, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
I have s9 SPN to watch, so I haven't broken down and gone for s2 OB yet. But Christmas is coming! O.O
Alix (Tersa): VM - Train wreck (noelia_g)tersa on November 3rd, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
Mary Annepers1stence on October 31st, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Also is biblical analogy...Rachel/Rebecca the concubine and Sarah/Serena the barren wife and son Jacob