Adapted from the novel by Ron Rash, director Susanne Bier’s romantic period drama Serena details the deteriorating relationship between North Carolina timber magnate George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) and his fiercely independent, entrepreneurial-minded wife Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) following a devastating miscarriage. A woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and relishes the opportunity for manual labor in the forest, the enigmatic Serena subsequently grows intensely jealous of the woman who previously bore her husband a son, and quickly begins to unravel over suspicions that George is sheltering his illegitimate family. Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones co-star.
Writer / Screenplay:
Christopher Kyle (screenplay), Ron Rash (based on the book by)
John seated Margaret, still mulling over her remarks. He walked around to his seat. He pulled the chair back from the table, sat, crossed his legs and clasped his hands in his lap while staring at Margaret as she stared back.
The waiter appeared.
“I shall have tea with lemon, please.”
“Black coffee for me,” John said. The waiter left.
“I am harmless because I am still single. Do I understand you correctly?”
“Yes,” Margaret said as she fiddled with her small purse just for something to do.
John looked out into the street, thinking. He was unaware that he was feeling his growing beard with the back of his hand.
Margaret thought he was too handsome to be real. And she was sitting here in public with him? Was he frowning?
“Miss Hale, I think I am being insulted,” John finally said trying to maintain a stern look. He knew all too well that it was a game, but he was going to pretend he did not think it was.
The waiter brought the cups and set them on the table.
Margaret lifted her cup and sipped gingerly until she knew the temperature of the liquid. John just left his alone, still frowning.
“You think that what I think is insulting you?” Margaret badgered him further.
“Yes, I do as a matter of fact.”
“Why is that?” Margaret asked as she lifted the cup to her lips once again.
“You know I have been a client at Miss Leeds twice. You probably know I have seen many women in my life. You know that I am still single. You must think I do not know how to pleasure a woman therefore I am still single and coming to Miss Leeds for help.
Margaret, about as unladylike as one could be, spit her tea out laughing so hard that she sprayed John, soaking his white shirt. She quickly stopped laughing and began choking. John jumped up and pounded her lightly on her back, still managing to wipe the spray off his face. Margaret raised her hand, signaling she was fine, now. She noticed how he looked worried.
“I warned you, Mr. Thornton, that I might panic and have to leave you. I think that time has come.” She started laughing all over again.
John was laughing quite hard himself after knowing she was not choking to death.
“You are not running off, Miss Hale. You haven’t finished spitting all of your tea at me yet.”
Margaret picked up her linen napkin and threw it in his face, still laughing. She was euphorically happy just then. They were getting along too well, she thought.
John just sat there with the napkin hanging from his nose. He looked ridiculous. Margaret waited and still he sat there like a masked bandit. She had to stand, reach and remove it from his face or start laughing all over again. There was no way she could control the huge smile on her face.
John looked around at the tables. “Maybe I should ask the waiter to remove the remainder of the munitions out here.”
The laughter just kept up. Tawl was laughing and he could not even hear what they were saying but their antics were keeping him in stitches. He had never seen Margaret so happy. He knew he loved her like a sister. He cared about her happiness very much.
As the laughter died down John saw the sparkle in her eyes. He had not laughed this way for years, he thought. He had been serious too long and realized Margaret was about to change all that.
“So, am I right, Miss Hale?”
Smiling broadly, Margaret looked down in her lap. “Yes, you are right about my meaning but I was only playing a game. I was not serious in my thoughts.”
“I must admit that was very clever of you, connecting dots in that fashion.”
“Not so clever that you did not figure it out. I was waiting patiently to explain my expertise in detection,” she smiled.
“I wish I was as clever as you, so I could figure you out, Miss Hale,” John said with a note of seriousness.
“Someday . . . perhaps, Mr. Thornton.”
“If you can spit tea in my face, you can call me John. I mean only friends spit at each other, do you not think?”
Margaret bowed her head, smiling broadly, “I am so awfully sorry about that.”
“I am not,” John said in a loving tone.
Margaret looked up at his face and saw passion building. “I think it is time I returned home. We did not talk much and that could be best. I have had a very enjoyable outing. We must spit more often,” she laughed.
“I hope you shall consider coming out with me again,” he asked.
“Yes, I am convinced that your intentions are honorable, unfortunately.” Margaret laughed again, turning away from the expression he must be showing.
John became very wide-eyed at that statement and wondered just how much of a jest that one was.
As John walked Margaret to her coach, this time with her arm wrapped around his, he told her that he would be by Miss Leeds soon. He and Nicholas had some charity plans in the works and he was hoping that everyone there would participate. He wanted her to know he was not coming there for another session.
Tawl pulled the coach from the curb as John resumed his place at the table and lifted his coffee watching as they rolled out of sight. He still did not know anything more about her than when he started except that he might be falling in love. He knew he could take whatever she had hidden away, but he would have to make her believe it and believe in herself. Whatever she was trying to hide, he would stand between her and the world to keep her safe. After their action at the cafe, he knew she was more woman than he had ever met. She had the spirit he had searched for a long time. Could he possibly be so lucky as to have all of the rest he wanted in a wife. Could she be passionate, could she love him, did she want children, could she contend with being a Mill Master’s wife? These were still unknowns. Whatever she had hidden ran very deep. And then there was the noble in her life, the red book and the book today, not even thinking of what happened to her which found herself as a working woman at Miss Leeds. Much more to learn and I am eager to know it all.
Margaret had to rest her hands on the coach bench in order to ensure she did not float off of it. This had been one of the best days of her life. First Grace and then John had wrapped her in the spirit of their friendship and kindness and she was not too sure if Tawl had not spoken his piece yet. Grace, of course, now knew her entire history since school but John did not. It amazed her that John was seeing her at her lowest point in life and still was not embarrassed to be seen with her. He was a man who laid bare his honesty to the world. No pretences could be found in him. She was so heartened with the man she was coming to know. She could almost understand him overlooking her misfortunes from education to now, but the rape would probably send him away. A brothel was far different than finding a woman to love, never married, who was no longer chaste. There must be a line in the sand that he had drawn at some point in his life. Margaret decided to put this day in her empty box of treasured moments, stick with her day dreams and move on. As she had told Grace, she had a plan to pull herself up and she should be getting back to it.
Tawl pulled the coach to a stop behind the house. He jumped down, helped Margaret out and then unexpectedly hugged her.
Margaret stood with her arms at her sides wondering what this was all about. “Tawl, You are crushing me. Do you mean to be doing that?”
Tawl backed up sporting his big irascible smile. “I am sorry Miss Margaret. I was so happy to see you happy for once. I guess I wanted to congratulate you on your first big step and welcome you back to the land of milk and honey.”
“That’s America, Tawl. We are the tea and crumpet types; Margaret could not help but smile at his enthusiasm. “I am not so sure I have found milk and honey, but Grace’s visit did a lot to bring back my self esteem and courage, Hurrah! It was actually fun spitting my tea in John Thornton’s face. And he took it so well; I was stunned. I do not know if you heard us talking but he made me laugh so hard that out came the tea quite by accident.”
“Like I said once before, I want to walk you down the aisle.” Tawl smiled. “Were you aware that Mr. Thornton was watching you and your friend from the dining room window while you were in the park?”
“No. You could see that?”
“From where I was standing, I could see the two of you and Mr. Thornton watching. I am sure he’s becoming smitten with you.”
“With his handsome looks, status in the community and wealth, I think he can be smitten whenever he feels like it. I’d better get inside and let Katie know how the day went. It is also dinner time. I think they’ll all enjoy hearing about Mr. Thornton. Then I must do another interview with one of the girls that has her first hour open. Tawl, thank you for a lovely day and spending it near me making me feel safe. I must go,” Margaret said as she headed up the back steps.
“I have been trying to catch up with you for days. I must thank you for helping with the teaching of reading and writing. I was never made aware that we had an educated woman among us. Do you mind teaching? I have wondered why there has been no advancement in that direction,” said Margaret her next girl to interview.
“Truthfully, I do not think any of the girls were interested before. Since you have come, you have unwittingly been setting an example for all of us. Giving us hope that we can improve our lives, even if it is a little is giving us some hope. Reading and writing are giant steps and you have shown us what one can do with that knowledge . . . I mean writing a book. That’s something to aspire to for some of us. Are you ready for me to tell you my story? I have been doing a lot of thinking.”
“I am anxious to hear your story and thank you so much for wanting to tell the world what it is like to do what you do.” Margaret accumulated her sharpened pencils and paper. “Where is a comfortable for you?”
“Would the garden be all right?”
“Yes, that is fine. Just let me grab a book for a hard surface to put my paper on.” Margaret, without thinking, picked up the red book and the two of them walked out the back door.
As they sat, Joy left out a wee laugh. “I see you look at the red book. Some customers have actually brought the book into the house. They like to compare us to the drawings.”
Margaret blushed realizing her mistake. “Have you read this book, Joy?”
“Oh no! I never learned a language and I already know the language of love,” she laughed.
“Maybe someday you can take French and read the story that drifts in the background of the pictures. Behind these carnal images is a very interesting story of a man and his women, how he learned about them and then finally meeting the woman of his dreams. It is a little explicit in his pleasuring her, but there is much love to read.”
“I should like to read a love story some day.”
“All right. I am ready. Let us get started. Try to speak slowly so I can write your words or would you rather write them yourself and then give them to me?”
“Forgive you, Frederick? But … but where in all this is your fault? Or mine?”
“Anne, I should have insisted that you come with me that night! Then nothing of this would have taken place!”
“No, my love, you are blaming yourself unjustly. Nothing could have prevented it.”
Anne looked around her for the first time. They were alone, in a large, pretty bedroom with walls of fainted pink and light, elegant furniture. She should have felt embarrassment, alarm, because they were without a chaperone, yet she did not. All this petty, unimportant behaviour of Society did no longer affect her. There was, however, one really important issue she wanted to tell her Frederick.
“My love … you must listen to what I have to say, it is of the utmost importance. You must act with the greatest sincerity in this matter for it will have consequences for the rest of our lives. Will you give me your soldier’s word on this?”
Wentworth turned an alarmed look to her and said with vehemence:
“Dear Lord, Anne! May God strike me down if ever I should not be sincere with you in our future life and marriage! Of course you have my word but you also put me through the greatest of fears! What is it that is troubling you so?”
Steeling herself for what she had to say, Anne took a deep, shuddering breath and turned her face away from his bright, loving gaze.
“Frederick … I am no longer … he did something … I fear I cannot come to you as I might have wished to …”
A little sob prevented her from speaking. How was she to explain to him what she was feeling? She was ruined! She was violated! Elliot’s eyes had beheld her while she had been naked! Swallowing back her tears of shame, Anne continued, “If you want to break our engagement, for fear of what people might say, I …”
Wentworth’s strong grasp lifted her to his chest and his arms crushed her to him.
“Anne, I beg you, do not speak like this! I love you with the fiercest of loves and nothing, do you hear, absolutely nothing is going to prevent me from making you my wife!”
She was weeping against the warmth of his shoulder now.
“But, Frederick, he … he saw me … he touched me … while I … while I had no clothes on me! I am no longer pure. He has stolen my innocence from me.”
His heart bleeding, Wentworth took her face into his hands and forced her to look him in the eye.
“Anne, my dearest, look at me. He has done nothing of the kind. Mrs Smith, who came with me, took care of you. She went in with our doctor, when he examined you, and she will confirm it to you what he said afterwards. You have not been touched, Anne, you are still intact. The only thing he can claim is to have seen you in a less than proper state but, if he ever threatens to breathe a word about that, I will personally rip his tongue out of his mouth! God! I could have throttled him!”
His words lifted some of her anxiety, but not all. “Yes, that might be true, but … you should have been the first to …”
Now he crushed her mouth with his and then, gradually, softened his lips in a sweet, feathery kiss. When he released her trembling lips, his voice was warm and gentle. “That may be so, dearest, but I will be the one who is blessed and lucky enough to see your beautiful body every day of our lives, from now until the day we die. I am the happiest man alive, Anne, do not take that away from me with unfounded fears.”
Anne knew then that her beloved Frederick would never hold against her what had transpired in the previous days, and she gave herself over into his ardent embrace.
From that moment on, matters spun out of their grasp, for Sophie, Frederick’s sister, took them in hand. She was simply delighted to be able to make preparations for a proper wedding. Sophie and the Admiral had no children of their own, to their great sorrow, and arranging her dear brother’s wedding brought Sophie the greatest joy.
Every day from then on, Anne was being whisked away to the shops of seamstresses, milliners, jewellers, shoemakers and hairdressers to a point, that her head was spinning when, at last, she was allowed to sit again in the evening. When she asked Frederick how the deuce she was going to pay for all that, he just took her into the circle of his arms, kissed her firmly on her mouth and replied she was not to worry about a thing at all. All the expenses of their wedding were to be on his account as a part of his wedding present to her.
“As to the subject of wedding presents, my sweet,” Wentworth said, “I have some small one I want to show to you. Please, would you do me the honour of accompanying me on a trip?”
These words he spoke on a lovely morning early April 1816 and the sun was shining brightly, the breeze was balmy and one could sense the coming of Spring. So Anne donned a dove-grey morning suit and matching white silk blouse and allowed her betrothed to drive her away in his carriage, destination unknown. On one point Frederick – after having kissed her – gently blindfolded her, whispering into her ear that it was part of the surprise.
When the carriage stopped, Frederick took her hand, helped her out of it and led her a few paces away from it. He removed her blindfold and said, his voice full of gentle, genuine love:
“It thought you might want to see your wedding present;”
Before Anne’s happily astonished gaze, Kellynch, her family home appeared!
In a bright haze of pure happiness, Anne then and there realised that Captain Frederick Wentworth did truly love her!
Set in Stalin-era Soviet Union, a disgraced MGB agent is dispatched to investigate a series of child murders — a case that begins to connect with the very top of party leadership.” Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, with costumes designed by Jenny Beavan.A politically-charged serial killer thriller set in 1953 Soviet Russia, CHILD 44 chronicles the crisis of conscience for secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), who loses status, power and home when he refuses to denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace), as a traitor. Exiled from Moscow to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. Their quest for justice threatens a system-wide cover-up enforced by Leo’s psychopathic rival Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), who insists “There is no crime in Paradise.” Summit Entertainment presents in association with Worldview Entertainment a Scott Free production, a Daniel Espinosa film.
Writer / Screenplay:
Richard Price (screenplay), Tom Rob Smith (novel)
France Apr 15, 2015
Argentina Apr 16, 2015
Greece Apr 16, 2015
United Kingdom Apr 17, 2015
Cambodia Apr 17, 2015
Poland Apr 17, 2015
Romania Apr 17, 2015
United States Apr 17, 2015
Russia Apr 23, 2015
Lithuania Apr 24, 2015
Denmark Apr 30, 2015
Netherlands Apr 30, 2015
Norway May 1, 2015
Sweden May 1, 2015
Portugal May 7, 2015
Brazil May 21, 2015
Germany Jun 4, 2015