Serena ★★

"Played as a kind of constant wake, grimly marching on to tragedy, Serena is hurt by relentless applications of Johan Söderqvist’s unimaginatively somber score and DP Morten Søborg’s reliance on lots of over-the-shoulder handheld shots, the camera swinging close to and around people’s faces and shoulders. There’s simply not that much to see in the performances. The Czech Republic stands in for the South, which isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. But Pemberton’s estate never seems like more than a few laboriously aged constructions populated by anonymous, largely silent extras—in other words, something like McCabe & Mrs. Miller's Vancouver-built mining town, only it never comes to convincing life."