New in theatres this week…
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite and reignite their on-screen chemistry with Serena, a Depression-era film set in the timber-rich country of North Carolina. It’s the third film Cooper and Lawrence have made together, after the critically acclaimed films Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
But in his review of the film, the National Post‘s Chris Knight called Serena “long, dumb and pretty” and “the perfect airplane film”.
“The cinematic equivalent of a trashy airport novel, Serena could be consumed in theatres or on DVD, but your best bet might be to wait until your next long-haul flight,” writes Knight (link above). “There, its pulpy machinations will eat up close to two hours of travel time while demanding little from your brain cells except the presence of guilty pleasure receptors.”
The film’s release has been a slow trickle – it already has a box office total over $2.77 million in the U.K. and Europe, will be in Canadian theatres starting Friday, and will be released in the United States in February, 2015.
Reese Witherspoon stars as the central character in this film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir – you’ve seen it, the one with the dirty boot on the cover.
In Wild, Witherspoon (as Strayed) goes on a 1,100-mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, her way of finding herself and restarting her life after her mother’s passing, recreational drug abuse, and a failed marriage.
“Writer Nick Hornby has pared down Strayed’s book to its most essential parts, and director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) and his crew have whipped them into a kaleidoscope of montages and flashbacks. They give the movie emotional spiritualism, practical transcendentalism, and human-scale comedy – some of which comes from Witherspoon’s appropriation of Strayed’s wryness in the film’s narration and some from simple proportionality, from its star struggling to stand while strapped to a backpack that might as well be a linebacker. Witherspoon practically weaponizes her smallness against her haters and the odds of completing this hike. It becomes the thing in the slingshot that socks Goliath in the eye.”
The film is released in North America today – Dec. 5, 2014 – and premiered at Toronto’s International Film Festival in September.
VIDEO: Wild premieres at TIFF 2014