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November 24, 2014

'Mildred Pierce' Mini-Series a Go With Kate Winslet

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 12th 2010 2:00PM
kate_winslet_oscars_smiling_2009Does it take an Oscar winner to play a character that's already won an Oscar for another actress? No, but it can't hurt. After over half a year of speculation and rumor, Michael Ausiello in Entertainment Weekly has reported HBO's confirmation that Kate Winslet will star in 'Mildred Pierce,' the remake of the 1945 Joan Crawford movie of the same name.

There's a lot to be excited about with this news. For starters, instead of just a two-hour TV movie, HBO is giving the adaptation of James M. Cain's novel time. It'll be a five-hour miniseries which virtually ensures more time to delve into the original story. Then there's Winslet essaying the role. She's such a good actress that it's a certainty she won't do what Joan did with the role. We'll be seeing another Mildred, Winslet's own interpretation of the role.

HBO has entrusted director Todd Haynes to bring this to the tube. He's already proven his affinity -- in a good way -- for soapy period pieces with 'Far From Heaven,' the Douglas Sirk-inspired drama that starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Haysbert. And for 'Mildred,' they're keeping it in the original era. Winslet will play Pierce as a struggling divorced, single mother during the Depression, rising from waitress to restaurant owner in pre-World War II Los Angeles.

If you're curious about the 1945 film version, the Warner Brothers class production that welcomed Joan Crawford to the studio (after her glory years at MGM) and wound up winning her an Academy Award, take a look at the original trailer. The men, by the way, are Zachary Scott, Jack Carson and Bruce Bennett. The integral part of Veda, her hateful daughter, was brilliantly played by Ann Blyth. Take a look:



You know, it's the Veda role that may be the next big ripple from this HBO production. It should be a very coveted role for a young actress on the rise. The mini-series starts shooting in April.

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BC McKinney

Winslet seems a little young for the later stages of the story, so it will be interesting to see her makeup. In addition to the longer form to allow more of the original novel to be developed, the fact that this is a pay-cable production should allow all of the racy/steamy/seedy elements that had to be omitted, toned down, or contradicted because of the Production Code.

February 12 2010 at 4:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Key Rick

Dakota Fanning would be my bet. Ellen Page is probably too old to pass for Kate's daughter in the Veda role

February 12 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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