Set in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s, "Serena" is a passionate love story about George Pemberton and his young wife Serena who is an outsider to his world of land and wood exploitation. Her strength and command surprise his male labourers as her ambitions for their company grow and she prepares to battle the state government to keep their land instead of selling to the National Parks. Tragedy strikes their home as after a miscarriage she can no longer have a child.
Jim Sheridan's film, adapted from Susanne Bier's 2004 movie, concerns Captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), a Marine who receives orders to ship out for yet another tour of duty in Afghanistan. But before he leaves his supportive wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), and his two elementary-school-age daughters, Sam picks up his black sheep brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), who has finished a prison stretch for robbing a bank. While overseas, Sam's aircraft gets shot down and he's thought dead.