It has been 2 years since actress Kate Winslet had her bumper award winning year with the films The Reader & Revolutionary Road. (2 films I disliked). After winning the Oscar for The Reader what would she choose as a follow-up?
Surprisingly she has chosen a television remake of the 1945 Joan Crawford movie – Mildred Pierce. (Crawford won an Oscar for her performance). The film was based on a novel by James M. Cain.
Of course it is not just any old television project, she is too classy for that. It is an HBO 5 part miniseries directed by one of my favorites – Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Poison) who also adapted the screenplay.
Mildred Pierce is a single mother who struggles to provide for her two daughters during the Depression. She takes on a job as a waitress, which infuriates her older daughter, Veda, who is a major snob and social climber. After her youngest daughter dies of pneumonia, Mildred pours all her love into the ungrateful Veda. She is even willing to take a murder rap for the daughter, who shoots dead her stepfather. Expect lots of melodrama which I am sure will be expertly handled by Haynes, as he did such a great job with Far from Heaven.
It is a very meaty role for an actress, and I am sure Winslet will deliver a powerful performance. Expect her to be a strong contender for an Emmy next year, adding to her Oscar & Golden Globe. The rest of the cast is equally exciting, playing the ungrateful Veda is Evan Rachel Wood (Sixteen, Across The Universe). Guy Pearce (Memento) & Melissa Leo (Frozen River) also lend support. The period settings have been created by the excellent production designer Mark Friedberg – who was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Far From Heaven. He was also responsible for the terrific designs of Across The Universe, State Of Play, and Synecdoche New York.
The series won’t go to air in the states until early 2011. But you can watch the tantalizing trailer below, it looks a sure fire winner to me.