‘Mildred Pierce’: bring it on

Posted by · 9:55 pm · February 11th, 2010

Mildred PierceThis is the first time I can remember a TV movie rising to the top of my “gotta see it” pile, but how can you not be excited for the forthcoming Todd Haynes four-hour “Mildred Pierce” HBO mini-series with Kate Winslet?  I forgot all about this project, which has been in the works for some time.

The news is now official, however, as shooting is set to begin in April in New York.  I couldn’t be more excited.  Perhaps this, along with the Coens’ “True Grit” remake will help jump-start the engine on revisiting classic American genres.  “The Good German” was a failed experiment, and the Coens have been here before with “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” but have hope.

Anyway, we can probably pave the way in 2011 for Kate Winslet’s awards run.  Talk about a collaboration that couldn’t be more right.  But I hope the filmmakers don’t feel locked-in to black and white.  I’d like to see Ed Lachman play with the darker hues of a color palette in what would be a grim but personality-ridden affair.

→ 26 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

26 responses so far

  • 1 2-11-2010 at 10:07 pm

    The Dude said...

    I agree that revisiting the style of classic American films has been something I have wanted for a number of years now. However, I hope that, if this is a trend that finally catches on, the movies that are produced in this style are original material rather than remakes. While I think “True Grit” and “Mildred Pierce” will both be strong, I hope they don’t inspire a dozen filmmakers to jump on some sort of remake-bandwagon.

  • 2 2-11-2010 at 10:11 pm

    Ed said...

    I fear that this won’t live up…to start it’s on TV. Nothing against TV, but if was going to be THAT good, then why not release it in theatres? Making it longer (i.e. a “mini”- series) doesn’t really mean it will be better….

  • 3 2-11-2010 at 10:16 pm

    Andrew R. said...

    Will Winslet be an Emmy winner as well in the near future? All she’d have left to get is the Tony.

  • 4 2-11-2010 at 10:18 pm

    Maxim said...

    The Dude, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m afraid, however, that the remake bandwagon cannot really be stopped at this point.

    On a personal note, I also want to say that to me legitimately new adaptations of the same source material aren’t remakes. I am supremely pissed that ‘Oldboy’ didn’t pan out because it could have been an equally strong film that fans of the original could have lived with. A far, far more promising project than many other remakes that actually make it to the screen.

    And Ed, Making it a feature film as opposed to a a TV film doesn’t necessarily make it better either. And don’t say it’s nothing against TV when you are clearly biased against it. And maybe not without reason but “Mildred Place” sounds like a very HBO project in the best possible sense.

  • 5 2-11-2010 at 10:33 pm

    tim said...

    Meh, I’ve seen some actors best work in television. I don’t understand the bias. Try to tell me that this year’s best actress race wouldn’t be completely different if “Grey Gardens” or “Prayers for Bobby” were in theaters instead of on TV. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney were freaking fantastic in “John Adams” last year. And don’t get me started on “Angels in America,” showcasing one of the best performances Al Pacino has ever given. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. And yes, they should probably just engrave Kate’s Emmy now.

    Oh and in other TV related business, one of my favorite productions from last year was “The Red Riding Trilogy” featuring some of the most dynamic acting of the year and one of my favorite performances from last year by Rebecca Hall. Make sure to see it!

  • 6 2-11-2010 at 10:45 pm

    Glenn said...

    Yeah, TV isn’t the naughty word it used to be. It just shows that maybe Haynes is really serious about adapting the novel to its full effect.

  • 7 2-11-2010 at 11:26 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Did you perhaps mean the Coens had been here before with THE LADyKILLERS? THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE is more of an homage to Cain by way of Camus, and a successful one at that.

  • 8 2-12-2010 at 12:38 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No, I meant MAN, vis a vis film noir.

  • 9 2-12-2010 at 4:23 am

    T.J. Wells said...

    Um, television is 100 times better than the cesspool that is Hollywood right now. LOST, Sons of Anarchy, Damages, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dexter, True Blood, Mad Men…I can keep going.

  • 10 2-12-2010 at 5:20 am

    Patrick said...

    I am SO EXCITED for this. As we all know Haynes is a devotee to classic Hollywood cinema, so I’m sure this will compliment and add to the original 1945 version, as well as probably being quite different. SO EXCITED.

  • 11 2-12-2010 at 6:35 am

    evelyn garver said...

    No one loves that grand old melodrama more than I do, so I’m a bit nervous. If anyone can do justice to the remake, it’s Haynes and Winslet. Does anyone know if the new version will be closer to the James M. Cain novel? I teach the film in my film class and have often read that the novel features a much darker relationship between Mildred and daughter Vida.

  • 12 2-12-2010 at 6:41 am

    Jim T said...

    Yes, this is supposed to be closer to the book than the movie was. As a Winslet fan I am very excited.

  • 13 2-12-2010 at 6:59 am

    Elessar said...


    Apparently, you have a bias against TV projects. Have you not seen the calibre of work to come out of HBO in terms of miniseries? John Adams, Band of Brothers, Angels in America, etc?

  • 14 2-12-2010 at 7:02 am

    Elessar said...

    Whoops! Forgot to add that I’m excited to see this, but alas, I do not have HBO. That is particularly irksome because, in addition to this, HBO has another project that has my immediate interest: George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

    Let’s not forget that Kate has a particularly interesting film role coming up next year: Steven Soderbergh’s CONTAGION.

  • 15 2-12-2010 at 7:27 am

    twc (aka: huge kate winslet fan) said...

    Andrew R. I was thinking the same thing! If winslet wins the emmy for this all she has left is the tony, which means this girl needs to get on stage! Go Kate!

  • 16 2-12-2010 at 7:29 am

    twc (aka: huge kate winslet fan) said...

    Then after she wins the tony she will start going for her second best actress oscar of course! LoL

  • 17 2-12-2010 at 8:57 am

    billybil said...

    This is SO EXCITING! I LOVE the idea of Winslet taking on the “weight” of this role – I just think she’s going to be marvelous. And I do hope they keep some of the downtrodden glamour of the 40’s. I can just see Winslet’s face and hair and body in that wonderful 40’s look. They would never dream of updated it, would they??!!! Who’s gonna play the daughter to you think? BTW – Crawford was 40 when she did the role – Winslet is 35…but there’s just something about Kate Winslet that seems as powerful at 35 as Crawford was at 40 – and then some. Cool!!!

  • 18 2-12-2010 at 8:57 am

    Benito Delicias said...

    Mildred Pierce (the movie) is a very simple story, like a soap, the only reason why this could be hard to remake is because it’s such a classic with one of the most iconic performances ever, but there’s nothing in that movie or story that says it can’t be done equally the same, or better.

    I saw it a couple of months ago and loved it, and Crawford was excellent, she was perfect, but Winslet is an amazing actress and again, this is simply a soap opera (there’s a reason why they chose Haynes) that ended up being huge and Oscar winning and classic. Hardly something that can’t be done again.

    HBO has put out some amazing things before, this doesn’t have to be the exception. And Winslet needs to clear space on her awards mantle quickly. All three awards will easily be hers.

  • 19 2-12-2010 at 9:01 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Love remakes — perhaps it will get someone thinking about a remake of “Sunset Boulevard” with Streep (who else) or Jane Fonda in the role Swanson made famous — maybe “High Noon” needs do-over, Harrison Ford in for Cooper — even “Giant” with Ben Foster in the Dean role — that would rock!!! Hope you are right Kris, they should be re-visiting the classics…at least some of them.

  • 20 2-12-2010 at 9:35 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I didn’t mean that I hope there’s a wave of remakes, just that there might be an interest in classic American genres like film noir and the western once again. The gangster film saw its day once more last year with Public Enemies. Etc.

  • 21 2-12-2010 at 10:23 am

    The Z said...

    If you watch those films from the Forties, it’s a whole different experience than today’s films. The subtleties, subtext, everything not being said… It’s film making the way it should be. Relying on the story and characters to move the audience instead of flashy effects or the flavor-of-the-month actor. Watch “The Letter,” “All About Eve,” “Gentleman’s Agreement,” “The Lost Weekend,” “Johnny Belinda,” “Gaslight,” and so many others. Bette Davis is a goddess on the screen, so get your hands on anything with her.

    Also, if you’re looking to break into films, these classics are a great starter to learn story techniques, character development, weaving theme with plot and subplots… It’s just an invaluable source of educational wealth.

  • 22 2-12-2010 at 12:42 pm

    a-mad said...

    Perfect vehicle for Haynes/Winslet… and I expect Winslet to be a contender for the trifecta of television awards.

    I secretly hope, however, that it does not air until calendar 2011, so Claire Danes can win several awards for Temple Grandin – which is probably the strongest performance by an Actress I’ve seen recently. Emmys are from June to May. SAGS and GG’s are calendar… so this would open it up for both actor’s to dominate in 2010 and 2011

  • 23 2-12-2010 at 1:13 pm

    Lance said...

    I think Kate should do a spoken word album and go for the grammy as well.

  • 24 2-12-2010 at 2:09 pm

    Qas said...

    I think she already has a grammy. She just needs the emmy and the tony .

  • 25 2-12-2010 at 2:55 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    “I fear that this won’t live up…to start it’s on TV. Nothing against TV, but if was going to be THAT good, then why not release it in theatres? Making it longer (i.e. a “mini”- series) doesn’t really mean it will be better….”

    It’s not TV it’s HBO. Why release something to theaters that will likely die commercially? Making it longer doesn’t mean better just thorough.

  • 26 2-13-2010 at 2:53 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I thought there already was supposed to be a Sunset Boulevard “remake” (a.k.a. musical adaptation), with Glenn Close, who won a Tony in the role on Broadway. I’d just love to see her get an Oscar someday.

    But I’m thrilled to hear about this project and Kate Winslet winning the Emmy would be fantastic. It’s criminal she didn’t win for Extras anyway!