After a long, long wait, Susanne Bier‘s “Serena” finally emerged at the BFI London Film Festival, and it isn’t a lost classic, or even a so-bad-it’s-good future cult move. As our own Oli Lyttelton wrote in his D- grade review, the movie is simply “tedious” and that “given the result, you can see why people might be keen to sweep this one under the rug.” For the most part, Bier and the cast have kept quiet on the long delayed movie, but with “Serena” hitting UK cinemas this weekend, the director is now opening up about the movie, and what she doesn’t say is an interesting as what she does.
Speaking with The Times, Bier insists her vision for the Depression-era drama was never one for mass consumption, but things changed as the film’s stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence became more famous. “I had to fight for Jennifer when we were financing the movie,” Bier says. “I had to fight for her! But we cast them both, and in the interim, they became these huge stars, and that changed the expectations around the movie. It was always a dark, dark, love story. Never a mainstream film.”
And while Bier never comes right out and says it, the participation of Cooper and Lawrence seemed to change as they became more cautious about the resulting picture. “It did become a more complex process. And I want to say that neither of them [Cooper and Lawrence] —I mean, Bradley has come to Copenhagen and has been engaging very much in the editing. And they both have been really supportive and great. But it, er, it is more complex. I think what happened is that a lot of people got more anxious because they became such big stars and…”
According to The Times, Bier then falls into a fit of laughter, bursting out “I can’t!” and from that point on is unable to commit to her denial of what apparently went on behind-the-scenes.
There’s likely more to this movie to be uncovered, particularly about what happened between the film wrapping production two years ago and making it to screens in the past couple of weeks. Will we ever know the full story? Perhaps in time. Until then, here’s a new TV spot and look for “Serena” stateside when it hits VOD in the U.S. on February 26th, 2015, before landing theaters on March 27th.