The five-part HBO miniseries “Mildred Pierce” premiered Sunday night (March 27). It is a retelling of the classic 1945 movie of the same name, though it’s not a remake. It is more James M. Cain‘s 1941 novel come to life.
The 1945 version won Joan Crawford her only Oscar in the title role, a woman who kicks her cheating husband out and must make her way in the Great Depression while raising two daughters. Mildred’s love for, and simultaneously being at odds with, her eldest daughter Veda (Ann Blyth) is the key relationship, as Veda is headstrong, ambitious and materialistic. Blyth was also nominated for an Oscar for her role.
Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood have the roles of Mildred and Veda in HBO’s new offering. As the miniseries spans 10 years, Veda is played by younger actress Morgan Turner at first, but Wood takes over when she reaches young adulthood.
Not only is Winslet extremely believable as the strong, proud Mildred, but she takes what is a very famous role and makes it her own. Wood was also a highlight, as was recent Oscar-winner Melissa Leo as Mildred’s neighbor and Mare Winningham as a waitress who befriends and helps Pierce. Quinn McColgan was also quite charming in her acting debut as the younger Pierce daughter, Ray.
Sunday night’s premiere showcased parts I and II and if you missed them, try to catch up during the week. It is another fine miniseries offering from HBO. If you didn’t miss it, let us know your thoughts in the comments.