Mildred Pierce (15)
Friday 25 November 2011
Kate Winslet delivers a powerhouse performance (when doesn't she?) in Todd Haynes's faithful and relatively restrained adaptation of James M Cain's novel.
It's a lot less melodramatic than Michael Curtiz's ripe 1945 version, which memorably featured a tour-de-force turn from Joan Crawford. However, Winslet's harried Mildred (her husband, Bert, has up and left her for another woman, it's the Great Depression and her older daughter, Veda, is proving to be cruel and unusual; Mildred's pal correctly points out that she "has some funny ideas") has more room to breathe and develop in HBO's immaculately constructed five-hour mini-series. After traipsing the streets for receptionist work, Mildred swallows her pride and becomes a waitress. And because she's smart, resilient and a great cook, Mildred blossoms, eventually opening her own chicken restaurant. However, two things keep holding her back. The vile Veda ("You're such a sap, mother") and her boyfriend, Guy Pearce's feckless Monty ("I don't do anything... I loaf"). But, as Mildred points out to a hysterical Veda, "battles aren't won by quitting."
Haynes's sharp, saucy drama benefits hugely from exquisite performances from a louche Pearce, a creepy Evan Rachel Wood as cruel Veda, and, of course, from the Emmy-winning Winslet. Let's face it, she's currently our most accomplished screen actress.
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens