In 1941, James M. Cain published a book titled, “Mildred Pierce.” The Premise is about a housewife who’s forced to provide money to support her kids after her husband left them. Sometime Later, Mildred decides to open a restaurant. As the story progresses, Mildred’s relationship with her daughter Veda declines. Four Years Later, the book was adapted into a movie with Joan Crawford. Seven Decades Later, Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Carol, Dark Waters) adapted the book as a five part mini-series starring Kate Winslet as the titular character.
Mildred Pierce officially aired in 2011 (same year Contagion came out) on HBO. It received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. Kate Winslet won an Emmy for “Lead Actress In A Mini-Series Or Movie” & Guy Pearce won “Supporting Actor In A Mini-Series Or Movie.” I’m gonna come clean, I’ve never seen the Joan Crawford version.
There’s a few reasons why I’m sharing my thoughts on Mildred Pierce. Kate Winslet will co-star in James Cameron’s “Avatar” sequel. Evan Rachel Wood (one of my favorite actresses) will reprise her role in Westworld’s upcoming fourth season. Guy Pearce will collaborate with Liam Neeson in “Memory” slated to come out on April 29th. Todd Haynes’ most recent work is a documentary film about The Velvet Underground which available to steam on Apple TV.
This review contains no SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the book or didn’t get a chance to view all five episodes, feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Kate Winslet did a fantastic job for her performance as the titular character.
Other Cast Members such as Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood & Melissa Leo all did a great job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Both Kate & Guy later collaborated in another HBO mini-series, “Mare of Easttown.”
Todd Haynes did a decent job mapping out all five parts.
Cinematography was shot carefully, narrowly avoiding shakiness.
Pacing for all five parts never got me miserably bored.
Costume Designs and Set Pieces were manually crafted by decorators. Making it look like we’re transported back to The 1930s. Living in The Great Depression wasn’t fun.
Primary Themes are Motherhood, Social Class, Divorce & Betrayal. Each one is handled maturely.
Without giving anything away, Part Two will make you cry.
In Part Four, an emotional dilemma ensues between Mildred & Veda.
Is it me, or does Kate has a habit of showing her knockers onscreen? Heck, even at The 2013 Oscars, Seth MacFarlane mentioned several actresses showing their boobies. Kate’s been giving us the goods in “Titanic,” “The Reader” Mildred Pierce, “Ammonite,” “Little Children,” “Quills,” “Iris,” “Hideous Kinky” “Holy Smoke” & “Jude.” Hear me out, unlike Matt Lauer, I always keep my damn pants on like a gentleman.
If you wanna spice things up a notch, how about a drinking game? Take a shot every time Veda utter out the word mother. I’d stick to non-alcoholic beverages or water. I do not condone alcohol poisoning.
If you’re a fan of “Breaking Bad” & “Better Call Saul,“ Mark Margolis (Hector Salamanca) appears as a manager of a diner.
Part Five contains a massive Plot Twist that changes everything. I refuse to tell you. You’re gonna have to see for yourself. I also can’t give away The Ending.
Negative: An early romance with Mildred & Monty occurred. If this were real life, it’ll take weeks for two people to get to know one other until a relationship is fully established.
The Final Verdict: A-
Mildred Pierce is nearly a perfect mini-series showcasing Kate Winslet’s acting chops. If you have nothing to do over the weekend, I highly recommend this mini-series.