Friday, 5 August 2011
Mildred Pierce 
James M. Cain’s classic Depression-Era tale was turned into a film noir by Michael Curtiz in 1945. Todd Haynes decided to readapt Mildred Pierce, and turned it into a 5-part HBO miniseries. In this current rendition of the book, the luscious Kate Winslet has played the role of the titular character, made famous by Joan Crawford in the Curtiz version. She is an independent-minded lady, she throws out her philandering, albeit good-natured husband, and takes the job of a waitress to support her daughters. The movie goes on to follow her eventful life over the next few years, as she loses her younger daughter, gets into a tumultuous relationship with a dapper upper-class fellow (Guy Pierce), becomes a successful entrepreneur by opening her own chain of restaurants only to eventually lose them, so on and so forth. However, at the heart of the movie lies the complex relationship she shares with her pretentious elder daughter Veda who grows into an exceptionally gorgeous young girl (Evan Rachel Wood) but one of the vilest characters one could think of. The more Mildred tries to bestow her love on her, the more she is hurt by the monstrous prima donna. The film boasts of an exceptionally well-rounded turn by Winslet and superb art direction recreating those times. Unfortunately, it seems a tad hollow in its soul, and filled with a lot of implausible character dynamics. Why Veda behaves the way she behaves throughout the storyline in fact remains its most disappointing mystery.
Director: Todd Haynes
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/TV Miniseries