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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mildred Pierce by Todd Haynes (mini-series, 2011)

with Kate Winslet (Contagion, The Reader, Titanic), Guy Pearce (The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Iron Man 3, Prometheus), Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, The Conspirator), Brian F. O'Byrne, Melissa Leo (Flight, Frozen River, The Fighter), Murphy Guyer, James LeGros (Enemy of the State), Marin Ireland, Mare Winningham (Mirror Mirror), Diane Kagan, Miriam Shor, Morgan Turner, Halley Feiffer (Margot At the Wedding), Hope Davis

Based on the 1941 novel by James M. Cain, this HBO miniseries follows the turbulent life of Mildred Pierce, a fiercely independent single mom who works hard to win her daughter's love while struggling to make ends meet in Depression-era Los Angeles.

I thought it was a social movie about American history and how a woman made it. Not really. It is more of a dark story, in the context of the depression, of manipulation, drama, human disgrace. Little by little, you come to understand it and wonder how far this will go. It could have been darker I guess. And the character played by Kate Winslet not convincing enough. Either the game of the daughter should have been less obvious, or the mother less naive. It felt like Winslet was stuck in a role that was too limiting, not enough imaginative, constrained. So the variations of her character were repetitive and in a way uninteresting, irritating "Oh, Veda!".

Watch Trailer:


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