Kate Winslet in HBO's 'Mildred Pierce'
"OH, MISS Winslet, this has always been my favorite side of your body!"
That's what an admirer said to Oscar winner
The dress was by
HBO has attempted a mighty feat with its five-part miniseries, based on
At the time, Cain's massive novel could not be condensed for the screen, nor could Mildred's character be shown as Cain wrote her. But even the author himself was moved to write Crawford, insisting that she had brought aspects to Mildred even he had not seen. Still, the 1945 version ran an economical one hour and 50 minutes, and there was a heck of a lot more to Mildred and Veda's story. Now HBO and director
DIRECTOR Haynes has an exquisite eye for period detail -- remember his homage to the color-drenched '50s in "Far From Heaven"? His touch is masterful here, as well -- clothes, cars, hair, even meal portions! (In the restaurant scenes, as Mildred miserably slings hash, one is startled by what appears to be rather stingy plates of food, only to realize that back then, super-sizing hadn't begun. People didn't eat like pigs.)
Her Mildred is far more manipulative, carnal and class conscious than Crawford's Mrs. Pierce. (Here, you understand why Veda is such an intolerable snob -- so was Mildred; she vomits at the thought of having to become a waitress. But as her friend, played by
THE ABOVE-MENTIONED MISS LEO, the not-seen-often-enough Mare Winningham,
I have but one cavil -- while it is an admirable concept to redo "Mildred Pierce" as an epic, the pace of the first two parts was somewhat languid.
But this is a very minor complaint, and I have no doubt I'll be completely riveted with the next three hours. (As usual with this sort of thing, it began late and there was too much said onstage before the lights went down. So maybe I was just generally antsy.)
AFTER the screening, HBO and
And who had the most eye-catching date of the evening? Why 12-year old
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