You've probably heard about "Mildred Pierce" in the news lately as the HBO mini-series that won the Emmy Awards for Leading Actress (Kate Winslet) and Supporting Actor (Guy Pearce). It also won three Creative Awards, which is the new term for the more technical categories, which are now presented in a separate show, as if implying that nobody really cares about those. Well, geeks like me care. Anyway, back to business. This epic 6-hour mini-series is co-written, co-produced and directed by Todd Haynes ("Far From Heaven", "I'm Not There") and adapted from James M. Cain's homonymous novel.
The story has a much wider scope, however, and I'll stop here with the spoilers. There's a lot of texture to the story, as you'll find out, and Todd Haynes does a wonderful job of constructing all that emotional tension. He allows the scenes to flow, without rushing to a payoff. The pace is slow, melancholic and always seeming to hint at some dark evolution, making you anxious to see what happens next. Some of you might have seen the 1945 adaptation of the novel, but the mini-series is nothing like that. The story unfolds in chronological order, as opposed to that movie's flashbacks structure, and follows the novel a lot closer, which means that the murder plot is removed and the novel's events are restored.
Overall, this a powerful mini-series. If you have an appetite for raw brooding melodrama, this is the right movie for you, an epic period piece, exquisitely written, directed, acted and featuring lavish production values. A must-see.