A report emerged last week that the long-awaited “Serena” had finally found a U.S. distributor in the form of the film’s co-production partner Magnolia Pictures because no-one else wanted it.
The same report included several disparaging comments about the Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence period drama from buyers that suggested the film had been edited so as to make no sense.
Bier tells Thompson On Hollywood that the scheduling has been a nightmare:
“I’ve been doing another film [‘A Second Chance’]. Cooper and Lawrence were super-busy, just doing the ADR has been tricky. She had only one day off in two years.”
Magnolia’s chief Eamonn Bowles has confirmed the film went through several edits, and he’s surprised by the reaction:
“Frankly I don’t know what cut they saw. It was a question of emphasis. It’s not a radically different cut. Susanne tweaked it and it got better.
The one they have now is the best one. It’s a beautiful-looking period piece, a fantastic-looking production. It’s completely relatable and understandable and a really good film. It’s a serious drama, a big-scale romance, and a bit of a tragic Lady MacBeth story.
If people go in thinking it’s a bad film they will be pleasantly surprised. It’s a good film. I stand by it. Susanne Bier did a good job directorially on this film.”
The test comes in a few weeks when “Serena” has its public premiere at the BFI London Film Festival next month ahead of an early 2015 U.S. theatrical release.